The Effects of Neighborhood Characteristics on Arrest Decisions in Domestic Violence Cases

Lisa Growette Bostaph, University of Cincinnati
James Frank, University of Cincinnati
Kenneth Novak, University of Cincinnati
Brad Smith, University of Cincinnati

This paper examines the effects of neighborhood characteristics on officer decision-making in domestic violence cases. The data was collected as part of a NIJ grant to study the community policing activities of a large mid-western police department. The data was gathered through observation over a twelve-month period in 1997 on randomly selected shifts with officers. The authors focus on a secondary analysis of 163 "domestic-type" incidents including domestic disturbances, domestic assaults, child abuse, and child neglect cases occurring during the random observations. Analysis includes the independent variables of poverty, nonwhite, renter, and single-family home percentages and the dependent variables of arrest, citation, and order maintenance (non-official) decisions at the neighborhood level. The authors discuss the results of their analysis and their recommendations for future research.

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Updated 05/20/2006