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Contributions of Family Violence Research to Criminal Justice Policy on Wife Assault: Paradigms of Science and Social Control

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Criminal justice policy on family violence has evolved over the past two decades, informed by political activism as well as theory and research from divergent and often competing perspectives. Experimental research on mandatory arrest of men who assault female partners, policy research on special prosecution programs, and the development of treatment programs for men who batter, typify the strategies for applying criminal sanctions to family violence. However, other critical research on family violence has not been integrated into criminal justice policy, limiting policy development and intervention strategies to practices which reflect contemporary models of sanctions and social control. The limited contributions of family violence research to criminal justice policy reflect competing paradigms of social science, the challenge of family violence cases to the normative processes and the social organization of the criminal courts, and divergent perspectives on social control of offenders in family and stranger violence cases. Strategies for an integrated policy development process are suggested.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Criminal Justice Center, and Department of Law, Police Science, and Criminal Justice Administration, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York, NY.

Publication date: January 1, 1988

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