The Association between Homicide Risk and Intimate Partner Violence Arrest

February 20, 2018 | By Allison Ward-Lasher, Jill Theresa Messing, Andrea N. Cimino & Jacquelyn C. Campbell

Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice

This paper examines police officer decisions to make an arrest in intimate partner violence (IPV) cases in a jurisdiction with a discretionary arrest policy that uses risk assessment at the scene of a domestic violence incident. Police-involved victims of IPV were interviewed at two time-points. Of the 266 cases, the offender was arrested in 105 (39.5%) cases. In a logistic regression model, physical violence was the strongest predictor of arrest while risk for homicide was not predictive. Upon examination of the factors that predicted further violence, there was a linear relationship between risk of homicide and the severity and frequency of future violence. Arrest and physical violence at the index offense were not associated with violence at follow-up. The use of risk assessment by law enforcement officers may assist with criminal justice decision-making and referral to appropriate interventions.

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