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Reconsidering Domestic Violence Recidivism: Conditioned Effects of Legal Controls by Individual and Aggregate Levels of Stake in Conformity

NCJ Number
Journal of Quantitative Criminology Volume: 18 Issue: 1 Dated: March 2002 Pages: 45-70
Date Published
March 2002
26 pages

This study investigated domestic violence recidivism and conditioned effects of legal controls by individual and aggregate levels of stake in conformity.


The study claimed that prosecution and sentences of treatment, community control, and/or jail corresponded with significantly lower re-arrest likelihoods among offenders residing in neighborhoods with larger proportions of higher-stake residents. Findings supported consideration of how relationships between legal controls and domestic violence recidivism may be conditioned by informal social controls operating at both the micro- and macro-levels. Findings also extended previous research yielding support for the main effects of neighborhood characteristics on crime in general to an understanding of recidivism among domestic violence offenders. The significant aggregate-level relationships were consistent with studies of other predatory crimes revealing higher individual-level likelihoods of violent crime in more structurally disadvantaged neighborhoods. The study presented new measures of stake in conformity and a contextual analysis of the conditioned effects of court dispositions by neighborhood-level characteristics. It also provided a methodology that could be replicated in other jurisdictions and results that could be used as forecasts in future research. Notes, tables, references

Date Published: March 1, 2002