Domestic Violence Case Processing: A Serious Crime or a Waste of Precious Time?

Domestic Violence Case Processing: A Serious Crime or a Waste of Precious Time?
Kathleen Erin Currul-Dykeman
May 2014

ISBN-13:  978-1-59332-733-0 / Hardcover
Dimensions:  5.5 x 8.5 / viii, 216 pages

Price   $70.00


Laws governing the criminal justice system’s response to domestic violence have changed through the passage of mandated arrest and prosecution policies. However, while arrest rates for domestic violence increased throughout the 1990s and 2000s, these cases continue to receive lenient treatment by our courts. Most are resolved with dismissals. Currel-Dykeman explores if the court community literature can offer a possible explanation to this problem. She analyzes the local legal culture of two courts, a traditional court and a specialized problem solving court to understand how they discuss and process domestic violence cases differently. Court workgroup members were interviewed and candidly spoke about these cases in a way that helped explain the problem.

About the Author

Kathleen Currul-Dykeman is an Assistant Professor of Criminology at Stonehill College in Easton, MA. She earned her Ph.D. in Criminology and Justice Policy from Northeastern University in 2010. Prior to pursuing her Ph.D., she worked as a prosecutor in Worcester County and ultimately became an Assistant District Attorney. She exclusively prosecuted domestic violence crimes, bringing over 50 cases to trial. She then supervised a specialized domestic violence court in Suffolk County from September 2000 until September 2001 when she was promoted to the Suffolk Superior Court Domestic Violence Unit. From September 2001 until April 2004 she worked on indicting and prosecuting serious felonies involving domestic violence.