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System-Initiated Warrants for Suspects of Misdemeanor Domestic Assault: A Pilot Study

NCJ Number
Justice Quarterly Volume: 7 Issue: 4 Dated: (December 1990) Pages: 631-653
Date Published
23 pages
An experiment was implemented to determine the effects of different police actions in domestic assault cases involving missing suspects.
The research design called for randomly assigning suspects of misdemeanor domestic assault in Omaha (Nebraska), who were absent when the police arrived and for whom probable cause for an arrest was established. Results indicate that system-initiated warrants for the arrests of those absent from the scene of a domestic assault appear to be more effective in reducing the likelihood of subsequent violence than simply advising victims of their rights and telling them how to obtain a warrant for a suspect's arrest. Replication is required before the effects of system-initiated warrants in such cases are understood and can be generalized to other jurisdictions. Given the frequency with which suspects are absent when the police respond to calls for assistance in cases of domestic violence (40-50 percent of the time), it is wise to consider the possible role of system-initiated warrants in the administration of justice involving domestic violence. 18 references, 16 notes, 5 tables, and 1 figure. (Author abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 1990