Courts Take Domestic Violence More Seriously Than Other Cases


State defendants charged with domestic violence felonies were prosecuted, convicted, and incarcerated at rates equal to or higher than other felonies, says a new report from the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics. The study looked at sexual assault and assault cases in 15 large urban county courts in May 2002. Domestic violence includes violence among family members, intimate partners and household cohabitants.

On 11 measures, no differences were found in handling of domestic violence and non-domestic violence cases. On the other four measures, domestic violence sexual assault defendants had a higher prosecution rate (89 percent vs. 73 percent), higher overall conviction rate (98 percent vs. 87 percent), higher felony sexual assault conviction rate (80 percent vs. 63 percent) and a longer average incarceration (six years compared to three and one quarter years).


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