U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Convicting and Incarcerating Felony Offenders of Intimate Assault and the Odds of New Assault Charges

NCJ Number
Journal of Criminal Justice Volume: 35 Issue: 4 Dated: July/August 2007 Pages: 379-389
John Wooldredge
Date Published
July 2007
11 pages

This Ohio study of felony assaults by 353 men against their female intimate partners considered whether conviction, jail, and imprisonment were related to the odds of subsequent domestic assault charges.


The study found that the odds of new charges were significantly lower by an average of 20 percent for defendants who were convicted compared with those who were not convicted due to dropped charges or acquittal at trial. Findings for the effectiveness of incarceration among convicted defendants were mixed. Jail sentences were significantly related to lower odds of new charges for assault of an intimate partner; however, no significant differences in these odds were found for prison sentences and probation. Removing short-term opportunities for domestic violence by sending male offenders to jail might have been more effective than placing them under community supervision in reducing subsequent domestic violence. The cases examined were from a larger study of felony case processing in Ohio during a 2-year period of the implementation of determinate sentencing guidelines in Ohio in 1996. The women victims in the cases examined were either spouses, ex-spouses, or nonrelatives who had intimate relationships with the defendants. A 2-year followup period was used for the analysis of reoffending. Data on defendant characteristics and case outcomes were obtained from prosecutors' case files, presentence investigation reports, and official records of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. 4 tables and 58 references