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Evidence-based and victim-centred prosecutorial policies 


Author(s) Finn, Mary A.
Title Evidence-based and victim-centred prosecutorial policies
Source Criminology & Public Policy, 2013, Vol. 12, issue 2, pp 443-472
Date 2013
Document type Journal article
Coverage USA
Summary This study examines court empowerment and the reoccurrence of violence over the course of domestic violence case processing, across two Atlanta misdemeanour court jurisdictions. One prosecutors' office employed an evidence-based prosecutorial policy and the other office employed a victim-centred prosecutorial policy. Domestic violence victims were contacted through these offices and the measures used in the subsequent interviews included reoccurrence of violence in 6 months after disposition, perception of safety, court empowerment and length of case processing. There were mixed results regarding which jurisdiction displayed more deterrent attributes and it was found, for example, that dismissal of charges and referrals of batterers to domestic violence treatment intervention were more common in the victim centred policy jurisdictions. However, it was also found that incarceration was used more frequently in victim-centred jurisdiction and probation was more common in the evidence-based jurisdiction. No differences in court empowerment were found between the jurisdictions. The author concludes that importantly the results suggest that the aims of therapeutic jurisprudence accomplished through the adoption of victim-centred policies yield better outcomes for victims of intimate partner violence.
Keywords Domestic violence; therapeutic jurisprudence; empowerment; safety; victim-centred; prosecution

Domestic violence