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Models of Community Coordination in Partner Violence Cases: A Multi-Site Comparative Analysis, Final Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
199 pages
The purposes of this study were to explore the dimensionality of community responses to domestic violence and to develop and test hypotheses about the efficacy of different coordination experiences in five communities.
The study found that, despite strong policy interest in arrest and numerous reforms at the State and local levels in the direction of less discretionary arrest policies, the mandatory or discretionary nature of the arrest decision was only one dimension of law enforcement practice in domestic violence cases. Other dimensions included prosecutorial policies and victim involvement. Despite the fact that coordination was frequently conceptualized as an aggregation of progressive policies aimed at holding offenders accountable and maximizing victim safety, in reality police departments and prosecutors reported having policies and practices that were a mix of recommended ideas. Profiles of the five communities revealed diverse circumstances in local responses to domestic violence and in local efforts to work cooperatively toward more coordinated responses. Communities varied in terms of the strength of community victim safety nets and offender accountability. Criminal justice responses to domestic violence in the five communities also varied. The study sheds light on the role of courts, domestic violence advocacy programs, community task forces, victims, and offenders and discusses implications of the findings for future research in these areas. The survey and case data collection instruments are appended. Footnotes and tables

Date Published: January 1, 2001