Practical Implications of Current Domestic Violence Research: For Law Enforcement, Prosecutors and Judges

Published June 2009

Chapter 7. Judicial Responses

Section 16 — Does the type of postdispositional monitoring matter?

Studies are mixed concerning the impact of postdisposition judicial monitoring, which probably should not be surprising because the quality of judicial monitoring is undoubtedly mixed as well. For example, a quasi-experimental study involving the Bronx domestic violence court found that judicial monitoring did not reduce recidivism, although there was a modest but transitory one-year reduction in domestic violence arrests. However, the same study found the quality of the monitoring program to be problematic. [185] A study of the San Diego court system attributed a decrease in rearrests, from 21 to 14 percent in one year, to judicial monitoring. [180] Other studies also suggest that a longer period of court control is associated with reduced reabuse. [42] Increased pretrial court appearances have also been associated with decreased reabuse. [179]

Studies have also found that probation supervision increases the number of offenders who complete batterer intervention programs. A multiyear study across Massachusetts found that the batterer program completion rate was 62 percent for those offenders whose cases were supervised but was only 30 percent for those whose cases were unsupervised. [18]

Implications for Judges

Postdispositional patterns of compliance and enforcement should be reviewed periodically to ensure that the crucial role of judges' postdisposition is being fulfilled. (Research basis: Several studies in disparate jurisdictions are suggestive but, given the variety of court contexts, no specific model of a postdispositional monitoring program has emerged, or is likely to emerge, as better than any other.)

Date Created: June 5, 2009