Domestic Violence:  Legal Sanctions and Recidivism Rates among Male Perpetrators

Domestic Violence: Legal Sanctions and Recidivism Rates among Male Perpetrators
S. Deborah Cosimo
October 2011

ISBN-13:  978-1-59332-488-9 / Hardcover
Dimensions:  5.5 x 8.5 / xiv, 184 pages

Price   $65.00

"...provides an informative and legally relevant approach to the issue of domestic violence. It includes a variety of contextual and theoretical perspectives that is well written and concise....ideal for graduate and postgraduate students as well as policy makers." -- International Criminal Justice Review


Cosimo examines the effects of civil and criminal legal sanctions for domestic violence related offenses on recidivism and on whether the number of legal sanctions imposed by the courts influences non-recidivism status. With an overall recidivism rate of 30.3%, results show that the risk of recidivism is 45% lower for men who experienced two legal sanctions (arrest and probation) relative to men who experienced one legal sanction (civil protective order). Additionally, men with prior criminal court involvement for domestic violence offenses are more likely to recidivate. Rather than reducing opportunities to recidivate, incarceration for offenses committed during the follow-up period is a predictor of recidivism. It is possible that despite legal sanctions, some recidivists are actually emboldened and use whatever opportunities available to them to commit domestic violence.

About the Author

S. Deborah Cosimo (Ph.D., University of North Texas) is a program analyst for the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General. Prior to working for the government, Cosimo counseled domestic violence offenders, taught undergraduate Sociology of Family Violence, and served on committees that developed practice guidelines and established accreditation standards for battering intervention programs in Texas.