Does Mandatory Partner Violence Prosecution Work?



Mandatory prosecution in intimate partner violence cases had little to no effect on re-arrest rates six months later, says a series of studies in the new issue of Criminology & Public Policy, a journal of the American Society of Criminology.

The studies suggested that mandatory arrest policies negatively affected victims' feelings of empowerment. Robert C. Davis, a senior research analyst at the RAND Corporation, Chris O'Sullivan, a research consultant, and Donald J. Farole, Jr., and Michael Rempel, both at the Center for Court Innovation, studied different prosecution policies in two New York City boroughs: Brooklyn followed a mandatory arrest policy; the Bronx allowed victims to decide whether to proceed. Comparison of the two policies suggested that mandatory arrest policies have very little effect on recidivism, yet used too many resources and angered victims. The study is available online from the Center for Court Innovation. The journal is available online only to subscribers.

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