Domestic Violence courts: An Evaluation of a Localized Court

Angela Gover, University of South Carolina

In the past decade there has been a growing awareness that domestic violence is a serious social problem. One of the responses to this social problem has been changes in the justice system, including the creation of domestic violence courts. Through funding provided by the National Institute of Justice, the current study examines the effectiveness of a localized domestic violence court in Lexington County, South Carolna. Recidivism rates between defendants tried in the local domestic violence court and those in a historical control group are examined, controlling for both legal and extralegal factors. This research study helps fill the gap in the knowledge on the effectiveness of the domestic violence court option and the factors that increase the likelihood that prosecuted batterers will recidivate. The findings from this research will help increase the understanding of the role of localized domestic violence courts in enhancing victim safety.

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Updated 05/20/2006