CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Friday, February 3, 2023

Black et al. on Domestic Abuse Recidivism

Dan BlackJeffrey GroggerTom Kirchmaier, and Koen Sanders (University of Chicago - Harris School of Public Policy, University of Chicago - Harris School of Public Policy, London School of Economics - Centre for Economic Performance and Center for the Protection of Human Rights (CPHR) - LSE) have posted Criminal Charges, Risk Assessment, and Violent Recidivism in Cases of Domestic Abuse (University of Chicago, Becker Friedman Institute for Economics Working Paper No. 11, 2023) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
Domestic abuse is a pervasive global problem. Here we analyze two approaches to reducing violent DA recidivism. One involves charging the perpetrator with a crime; the other provides protective services to the victim on the basis of a formal risk assessment carried out by the police. We use detailed administrative data to estimate the average effect of treatment on the treated using inverse propensity-score weighting (IPW). We then make use of causal forests to study heterogeneity in the estimated treatment effects. We find that pressing charges substantially reduces the likelihood of violent recidivism. The analysis also reveals substantial heterogeneity in the effect of pressing charges. In contrast, the risk-assessment process has no discernible effect.

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