This report presents the findings of an evaluation of Milwaukee’s Judicial Oversight Demonstration (JOD), which was designed to implement and test model responses to intimate partner violence (IPV).
Core goals of the JOD were to protect victim safety, improve offender accountability, and reduce the incidence of IPV through the implementation of responses that combined a strong judicial response with coordinated community services. The evaluation found that the JOD created significant changes in the response to IPV between 2000 and 2004. Accomplishments included the dedication of a new Domestic Violence Commissioner’s Intake Court, an intensive pre-trial supervision program for high-risk defendants, the development of strategies for prosecuting IPV cases without requiring victim testimony, a waiting room for IPV victims near the domestic violence courts, the development of a combined Domestic Abuse/Harassment Injunction Court, the development of a Family Violence Unit in the Milwaukee Police Department, and the addition of batterer treatment and victim services to the arsenal of services provided by community-based organizations. Challenges facing the JOD included problems with linking JOD to the existing coordinated community response to IPV, problems with expanding batterer intervention programs, and barriers to intervening with victims at the time of an incident. Despite these challenges, it was clear that the JOD program increased the accountability of offenders and improved victim safety. The higher rates of probation revocation observed under JOD might have been integral in increasing victim safety. The evaluation compared 2 samples of offenders: a JOD sample of 333 offenders who were found guilty of IPV between January 2001 and May 2002 and a pre-JOD sample of 289 offenders who were found guilty of IPV between October 1997 and December 1999. Data were obtained from the Consolidated Court Automated Program database and the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database. Probation supervision information was collected 2 years later in 2005. Logistic regression models were used to test the hypotheses of reductions in the likelihood of arrest. Tables, exhibits, figures, footnotes, references, appendixes