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Prosecution Response to Domestic Violence: Results of a Survey of Large Jurisdictions (From Do Arrests and Restraining Orders Work? P 176-191, 1996, Eve S and Carl G Buzawa, eds. -- See NCJ-161517)

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 1996
16 pages
The American Prosecutors Research Institute devised a national mail survey instrument to collect baseline information on the local prosecution of domestic violence cases in large jurisdictions.
The first section of the questionnaire queried prosecutors on how they were organized to manage domestic violence cases. The second section explored how decisionmaking on domestic violence case screening and charging compared with decisionmaking on other offenses. The third section centered on types and strengths of prosecutor office policies to protect domestic violence victims from retribution. The fourth section inquired about the extent to which prosecutor offices chose postdischarge diversion options to suspend case processing while the abuser underwent treatment. The final sections posed questions on special features of domestic violence trials, the sentencing of violent offenders and the extent to which sentences reflected offense seriousness, and the support provided by prosecutor offices to satisfy the needs of victims. Survey results demonstrated a growing commitment by district attorneys to vigorously prosecute domestic violence cases. Prosecutors seemed to be persistently searching for the most effective means of bringing violent offenders to justice. Many local prosecutors were inclined to support domestic violence diversion, offender counseling, and victim advocate programs. Prosecutors relied heavily on the use of protective orders as a remedy, even though they acknowledged the questionable effectiveness of this option. The lack of adequate prosecutorial resources was a factor in the priority level afforded domestic violence cases. Finally, prosecutors reported a high percentage of cases in which the victim would not serve as a witness. 18 references

Date Published: January 1, 1996