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Lowering Recidivism Among Men Who Batter Women

NCJ Number
Journal of Police Science and Administration Volume: 17 Issue: 2 Dated: (June 1990) Pages: 124-132
M Steinman
Date Published
9 pages
This study examines the effects of a coordinated effort to lower recidivism among men who batter women.
These efforts include the enforcement of arrest policies and an energetic prosecution of offenders. The history of police avoiding family matters is changing. The women's movement has made spouse abuse an issue by demanding that government treat it as a crime and protect victims. Police efforts to satisfy demands for service related to spouse abuse initially involved training officers to mediate family disputes. Many police departments adopted policies directing officers to make arrests for abuse if they could find probable cause, following a study which found that this approach significantly lowered recidivism rates. This study examines the effects of arrests policy on abuse in relation to police responses in a baseline, prepolicy period. Regression analysis showed that when compared to no action, arresting and citing offenders produced more abuse in baseline cases, but less when tied to other sanctions. It was found that men with criminal records reoffended. It was found that coordinated efforts increased abuse among offenders whose victims called for police help. Policies do not always work because police will continue to use discretion as abuse does not always produce evidence needed to find probable cause. 8 tables, 1 acknowledgement, 41 references.