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Response to Domestic Violence in a Pro-Active Court Setting: Executive Summary

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 1999
29 pages
This is an executive summary of a report on the Quincy, Massachusetts, District Court (QDC) domestic violence program.
The QDC program attempted to describe the workings of the primary components of this model jurisdiction in its response to domestic violence to determine whether the types of incidents, victims and offenders seen in a full enforcement jurisdiction looked similar to those reported in studies from other jurisdictions. The program included interviews with victims to hear directly about their experiences with a model court and to determine their reactions to their treatment by the criminal justice system. The program also examined how well this model jurisdiction worked in preventing revictimization. The program focused only on male-to-female violence on the assumption that there are unique aspects to those relationships that distinguish them from other types of domestic assault. The report concludes that, for low-risk offenders, first-time batterers, and those whose offenses are marked by multi-year latency periods, the victim’s preference for arrest and prosecution should be honored. For high-risk offenders, even a “model” court did not break their pattern of intimidation and control, and the interventions used to date were insufficient.

Date Published: July 1, 1999