Academic journal article Violence and Victims

A 10-Year Analysis of Rearrests among a Cohort of Domestic Violence Offenders

Academic journal article Violence and Victims

A 10-Year Analysis of Rearrests among a Cohort of Domestic Violence Offenders

Article excerpt

In this study, survival analysis is used to examine time to rearrest for both domestic violence and nondomestic violence crimes among a cohort of domestic violence offenders (N = 286 ) over a 10-year period. In addition, risk factors for rearrest such as demographic, offending history, and batterer treatment variables are examined to determine their influence on domestic and nondomestic violence recidivism. Overall, the results suggest that approximately half of domestic violence offenders are re arrested. Furthermore, among those who are rearrested, they are re arrested fairly quickly and for generalized (both domestic and nondomestic violence offenses) versus specialized offending. Risk factors associated with both types of rearrest included age, marriage, and domestic violence offense history. Several additional risk factors were unique to rearrest type. Study limitations are explicitly stated and policy implications are discussed.

Keywords: intimate partner violence; survival analysis; criminal careers; specialization

Domestic violence, or the physical, sexual, or psychological abuse or stalking of a current or past intimate partner, is a chronic problem in the United States, result- ing in an estimated 1,400 deaths annually (Catalano, 2013). Estimates of inci- dence rates project that approximately 24% of women and 14% of men are victimized by physical partner violence over their lifetime (Black et ah, 2011), and nearly half of all vic- tims report injuries as a result of physical violence (Catalano, 2013). Survivors of domestic violence report higher rates of depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), central nervous system problems, suicidal ideation and attempts, and substance abuse compared with those in the general population (Campbell et ah, 2003; Coker et al., 2002; Rodriguez et al., 2008). Ending violent relationships involve critical risks, including loss of income, homelessness (Baker, Cook, & Norris, 2003; Tutty, Ogden, Giurgiu, & Weaver-Dunlop, 2014), and the heightened probability of fatal retaliatory violence (Campbell et ah, 2003). Furthermore, societal costs of medical care and lost productivity as a result of intimate partner violence are estimated to be more than $8 billion annually (Max, Rice, Finkelstein, Bardwell, & Leadbetter, 2004).

One of the most intractable policy challenges in addressing domestic violence is frequent repeat offending. Research suggests that a substantial proportion of domestic violence offenders commit further domestic violence (Cosimo, 2009; Petrucci, 2010) and that recidivism often occurs shortly after their initial domestic violence offense (Frantzen, San Miguel, & Kwak, 2011; Hilton et ah, 2004; Piquero, Brame, Mazerolle, & Haapanen, 2002). Further, questions remain as to whether individuals who coimnit domestic violence are "specialists" such that they only commit domestic violence crimes or whether they are more often "generalists" whereby they are also engage in other types of offending behav- ior. However, previous studies regarding domestic violence recidivism often include only limited follow-up periods (less than 5 years) and often do not investigate both domestic violence and nondomestic violence crimes (e.g., Frantzen et ah, 2011; Klein, Wilson, Crowe, & DeMichele, 2008; Shepard, Falk, & Elliott, 2002), limiting our understand- ing regarding patterns of reoffending. Longitudinal studies with long follow-up periods that measure a range of criminal activity are crucial to understanding the offending (and reoffending) patterns of domestic violence offenders.

In addition, questions remain regarding predictors of domestic violence recidivism. Although a body of research has supported using demographic, criminal history, and sub- stance abuse variables to create risk assessment instruments for reducing the likelihood of subsequent offending, these findings regarding consistent predictors of recidivism among batterers are mixed (Gover, 2011; Hilton et al. …

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