The Link Between Mandatory Arrest and Community Involvement in Reducing Domestic Violence Recidivism

William DeLeon-Granados, Indiana University - Bloomington
William Wells, Southern Illinois Univ. at Carbondale
Jennie J. Long, Drury College

Policies advocating mandatory arrest of domestic violence offenders continue to create controversy among police, domestic violence advocates, and researchers. Because field experiments testng the efficacy of mandatory arrest policies seem to suggest that such policies may not work well with certain offenders, some have suggested limiting or changing these policies. However, few rigorous studies have examined whether it is offender characteristics or other factors, such as a lack of informal social controls and coordinated responses to domestic violence, that leads to the failure of mandatory arrest policies. This study uses survival analysis of 531 cases of men arrested for domestic violence offenses over a two-year period, comparing the recidivism rates for those who were arrested with those who were arrested and were exposed to community-level and individual-level interventions. The results of the analysis revealed that the community-level variable, though less specific in its target of intervention, had a significant influence on reduced recidivism when used in conjunction with arrest.

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Updated 05/20/2006