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NCJ Number
Law and Order Volume: 41 Issue: 7 Dated: (July 1993) Pages: 86-89
D L Hinds
Date Published
4 pages
In March 1992, the Norfolk (Massachusetts) district attorney's office requested Polaroid Corporation to train 10 police departments in the use of instant photography to record domestic violence incidents.
The goal of the training was to provide officers with a tool to increase the effectiveness of written incident reports by showing juries exactly how severely a woman was injured during a domestic assault. Even when a victim decides not to pursue prosecution, photographic evidence allow the police department to continue the investigation and prosecution without the victim's participation. The Norfolk police department designed a domestic incident reporting system that includes a domestic violence checklist, the recording of spontaneous utterings made at the scene or in subsequent interviews with the victim, and extensive photographic documentation of the incident scene and victim. Photographs should include a full-body shot, close-ups, and one-to-one shots of small or fading injuries. Instant photography is advantageous in that it provides confirmation that the necessary images have been obtained, the equipment is easy to use, and the photographs are tamperproof.