Tuesday, March 22, 2005


Choice stats in The Minneapolis DV Experiment

Back in 1981, the National Institute of Justice, the Minneapolis Police Department and the Police Foundation, launched a research project to get a few stats set in stone about the victim and suspect characteristics of domestic violence, coupled with police response and the tactics chosen to diffuse the situation once officers arrived on-scene. It was called The Minneapolis Domestic Violence Experiment, and although it wasn't the most successful study ever done, it did unearth some great information that wasn't previously documented.
The 205 completed initial interviews provide some sense of who the subjects involved in domestic violence are, although the data may not properly represent the characteristics of the full sample of 314. They show the now familiar pattern that domestic violence cases coming to police attention disproportionately involve unmarried couples with lower than average education levels, who are disproportionately minority and mixed race (black male, white female) and who are very likely to have had prior violent incidents with police intervention. The 60 percent unemployment rate for the experiments suspects is strikingly high in a community with only about five percent of the workforce unemployed. The 59 percent prior arrest rate is also strikingly high, suggesting (with the 80 percent prior domestic assault rate) that the suspects generally are experienced law-breakers who are accustomed to police interventions.

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