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  • African Immigrants
  • Volume 13 | Winter 2009

What’s New: Resources from the Field

The following are new or innovative resources we’ve heard about that we hope will be useful to practitioners. If you know of resources that you would like to be included in future eNewsletters, please send them to Rebecca Henry at Rebecca.Henry@americanbar.org.

Study Shows Increased Judicial Supervision has Limited Success in Curbing Domestic Violence Recidivism

A study published in the Criminology and Public Policy journal shows that increased judicial oversight and coordinated community responses over domestic violence offenders have a lesser impact on reducing recidivism than previously thought by experts.

The study tracked the effect of the Department of Justice pilot Judicial Oversight Demonstration (JOD) programs in communities in Massachusetts, Wisconsin and Michigan.   The JOD programs include pro-arrest policies, high coordination with victim advocacy and community services, and strong judicial offender supervision. The program was created with the hypothesis that focused and coordinated responses to domestic violence can decrease recidivism. 

The study found that the programs had a limited effect on preventing repeat occurrences of domestic violence, though there was success with certain subgroups, such as victims in short-term relationships.  The study suggested that resources would be better put to programs that prevent initial acts of domestic violence, as opposed to preventing recidivism. 

The study is available at http://www.criminologycenter.fsu.edu/p/cpp-media.php.

Supplemental Victimization Survey: 3.4 Million People are Victims of Stalking Every Year

A joint study by the Bureau of Justice Statistics and the National Institute of Justice found that 3.4 million people are victims of stalking in a 12 month period.  The study is based off of the Supplemental Victimization Survey, which supplements the National Crime Victimization Survey.  This study shows an increase in stalking from a 1998 survey of 2 million victims per year. 

Groups with high rates of stalking are those who are divorced or separated and those between the age of 18 and 29.  Three of four victims of stalking knew the offender in some capacity.  One in four victims of stalking reported some form of cyberstalking over the internet. 

The survey found serious issues with the criminal justice response to stalking.  Less than half of stalking victimizations are reported to the police.  Only a fifth of victims filed charges against their stalker.  20% of those who reported stalking stated that no action was taken by law enforcement regarding their complaint.  22% of victims who received criminal justice assistance reported that the situation became worse after contacting the police, while 28.2% reported that the situation improved. 

The study can be accessed at:  http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/svus.pdf.