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Domestic Violence Laws

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					Domestic Violence Laws
     Dr. Michelle L. Meloy
      Overview of Legal Change
   Historical Message: Domestic violence was
    usually not a crime
   New wave of domestic violence laws and
    practices: Protection from Abuse Acts,
    Mediation techniques by Police, Arrest laws
    change, Restraining Orders, Anti-Stalking
    Laws created, federal legislation created
   New Message: Violence among family and
    dating persons is a crime
    DV Laws Impacted by


 Feminist  movement
 Civil Liability

 Social Science Research
       Symbolic Change Only?
   Studies show that police are still
    reluctant to handle dv cases as seriously
    as other crimes of violence
   Several factors have been cited as
    explanations: police screening
    procedures, financial hardship of an
    arrest, belief that it is a “family”
    matter, victim’s may not want an arrest,
    perceived danger inherent to these calls
       Minneapolis Experiment
   Controlled experiment to test the
    deterrent impact of arrest on dv
   3 options available to the officer when
    responding to a dv call
   A) Arrest with @ least one night
    incarceration
   B) Sending the offender away from the
    scene to “cool off”
   C) Mediation with the couple
       Minneapolis Experiment
   24 week follow-up
   314 cases
   Recidivism measured by new arrests for dv
    OR reports from victims that additional
    violence was present
   Final analysis revealed that arrest produced
    the lowest re-offending (10%)
   19% of the mediation subjects recidivated
   24% of the “cooling off” subjects reoffended
       Minneapolis Experiment
   Final Report concluded three things:
   A) laws should be revised to allow for
    easier arrests in misdemeanor cases
   B) mandatory arrest was the preferred
    response
   C) Further studies be conducted to
    further substantiate findings
   Within 5 years, 84% of all major police
    departments adopted proarrest policies
         Replication Studies
   Miami: Supported decision to arrest
   Colorado Springs: In some situations
    arrest acts as a deterrent
   Milwaukee: Initial deterrence w/arrest
    but no lasting impact
   Omaha: No conclusive deterrent impact
    with arrest
   Charlotte: No difference in recidivism
    regardless of what police do.
      Effectiveness of Arrest?
   Replication studies do not answer this
    question !!!!!!!!
   Offender/victim demographics (race, class,
    employment status, prior criminal history)
    interact differently with an arrest response
   A one-size-fits-all police response to dv does
    not achieve desired outcomes
   Pro-arrest policies may be a better
    alternative
   Effectiveness of overall criminal justice
    response to dv should be evaluated for
    deterrence – not just the impact of arrest
           Federal Legislation
   VAWA initially passed in 1994: federal
    intervention in the fight to end violence
    against women and children
   VAWA funded numerous violence studies,
    CJS related revisions to respond to these
    crimes, and federally criminalized interstate
    domestic violence
   VAWA also funded National Domestic
    Violence Hotline- database of victim services:
   www.ndvh.org
    Domestic Violence Resources
   www.njsbf.org/njsbf/publications/domviolence.cfm

   www.judiciary.state.nj.us/family/fam-06.htm

   www.womenslaw.org/natl_links.htm


   www.ojp.usdoj.gov/vawo/

   www.ojp.usdoj.gov/ovc/help/dv.htm

				
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