National Archive of Criminal Justice Data

This dataset is maintained and distributed by the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD), the criminal justice archive within ICPSR. NACJD is primarily sponsored by three agencies within the U.S. Department of Justice: the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

Effect of Procedural Justice in Spouse Assault in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1987-1989 (ICPSR 20343) RSS

Principal Investigator(s):

Summary:

The purpose of the research project was to examine the extent to which the perception of procedural fairness by suspects arrested for spouse assault effectively inhibited their subsequent violence. The data for this study were collected for the MILWAUKEE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE EXPERIMENT, 1987-1989 (ICPSR 9966), which was conducted from April 1987 to August 1988. In this experiment, all cases of misdemeanor domestic battery where probable cause to arrest existed were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: (1) warning with no arrest, (2) arrest with a brief detention period (average of 3 hours), and (3) arrest with a longer detention period (average of 11 hours). Variables include demographic and background information, as well as descriptive variables pertaining to the domestic violence incident.

Access Notes

  • These data are freely available.

Dataset(s)

Study Description

Citation

Paternoster, Raymond, Ronet Bachman, Robert Brame, and Lawrence W. Sherman. EFFECT OF PROCEDURAL JUSTICE IN SPOUSE ASSAULT IN MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN, 1987-1989. ICPSR20343-v1. College Park, MD: Raymond Paternoster, University of Maryland [producer], 2007. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2008-04-17. doi:10.3886/ICPSR20343.v1

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Funding

This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (96-IJ-CX-0058)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   abuse, arrest records, arrests, assault, deterrence, domestic assault, domestic violence, family violence, imprisonment, police response, recidivism, spouse abuse, victims, violence, violence against women, womens shelters

Smallest Geographic Unit:   none

Geographic Coverage:   Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States

Time Period:  

  • 1987--1989

Date of Collection:  

  • 1987-04--1988-08

Unit of Observation:   individual

Universe:   All cases of misdemeanor domestic battery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, between April 1987 and August 1988.

Data Types:   survey data, administrative records data

Data Collection Notes:

(1) This data collection contains 1,067 cases and is distributed in SAS, SPSS, and Stata formats. Users must use the SAS syntax file in this data collection to subset the original full file into subsamples that the researchers used in their analyses. Please reference the sampling section of this document for additional sampling information. (2) Users are encouraged to refer to the original data source, the MILWAUKEE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE EXPERIMENT, 1987-1989 (ICPSR 9966), or the Paternoster et. al. article entitled "Do Fair Procedures Matter? The Effect of Procedural Justice on Spouse Assault" listed in the "Related Literature" section for this study for more detailed information regarding the study design and methodology for both this study and the original Milwaukee Domestic Violence Experiment.

Methodology

Study Purpose:   The goal of the study was to perform a reanalysis of the Milwaukee Domestic Violence Experiment. Specifically, the purpose of the research project was to examine the extent to which the perception of procedural fairness by suspects arrested for spouse assault effectively inhibited their subsequent violence.

Study Design:  

The data for this study were collected for the MILWAUKEE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE EXPERIMENT, 1987-1989 (ICPSR 9966), which was conducted from April 1987 to August 1988. In this experiment, all cases of misdemeanor domestic battery where probable cause to arrest existed were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: (1) warning with no arrest, (2) arrest with a brief detention period (average of 3 hours), and (3) arrest with a longer detention period (average of 11 hours). Warned suspects were immediately released at the scene and were not interviewed by the research team. Each arrested suspect was taken to police headquarters for processing. Suspects who were arrested were interviewed while in police custody. The interviews were conducted by research staff immediately after suspects were booked. A special team of 36 Milwaukee police officers implemented the experiment. These officers were assigned to four police districts that had both high rates of spouse assault and a large proportion of poor, minority residents. A case was deemed ineligible for random assignment if the suspect could not be located or had an outstanding arrest warrant or restraining order, or if the case involved either serious injury or the threat of violence.

Data for this project used a subset of the MILWAUKEE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE EXPERIMENT, 1987-1989 (ICPSR 9966), a study that contained 1,200 domestic battery incidents. The researchers eliminated cases for 110 female suspects and 23 cases with missing demographic or employment information from their analysis, thus leaving 1,067 cases in the data in this collection.

Sample:  

Data for this project used a 1,067 case subset of the MILWAUKEE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE EXPERIMENT, 1987-1989 (ICPSR 9966), a study that contained 1,200 domestic battery incidents. Approximately 91 percent of the suspects in the Milwaukee Domestic Violence Experiment were male. Since females composed such a small proportion of the total suspect sample, and because of the possibility that spouse assault involving a female perpetrator is a fundamentally different event from that involving a male, the researchers decided to eliminate the cases for 110 female suspects from their analysis. An additional 23 cases were deleted because of missing demographic or employment information, thus leaving 1,067 cases in the data in this collection.

For their published analyses, the researchers created the first subset of 825 suspects by selecting the 479 arrested suspects that answered 4 or more of the questions of interest on the suspect survey and the 346 suspects who were warned but not arrested. While the dependent variable was observed for the entire sample, only those suspects who were arrested and agreed to be interviewed provided data on whether they believed they had been treated in a procedurally fair manner. Thus, the sample of 825 suspects was only used for some of the analyses reported by the researchers because only suspects who were arrested were interviewed and had an opportunity to provide this information.

Accordingly, to create the second subset for analyses, the researchers first selected, from the original full file, the 721 cases that were male arrestees. From these 721 cases, the researchers selected only male arrestees that answered 4 or more of the questions of interest on the suspect survey, thus creating a subsample of 479 male arrestees. The researchers restricted their analysis of the arrested suspects to these individuals because they did not wish to generalize the results to individuals who did not complete the vast majority of items on the survey. Accordingly, in the remaining analyses, the subsample of 479 arrestees were the principal focus.

Weight:   none

Data Source:

MILWAUKEE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE EXPERIMENT, 1987-1989 (ICPSR 9966)

Description of Variables:   Variables include demographic and background information, as well as descriptive variables pertaining to the domestic violence incident. Demographic and background variables include age, age at first arrest, race/ethnicity (black, white, and other), prior domestic violence incidents, marital and employment status, stake in conformity, member of community organization, and member of church. Descriptive variables pertaining to the domestic violence incident include whether the subject was arrested, whether the subject was handcuffed in front of victim, physical force used against subject, angry about being arrested, wrong to harm partner, formal and informal sanctions, suspect or victim using drugs/alcohol, police calmed things down, victim transported to hospital, and time police spent at the scene. Other variables include representation measure, consistency measure, and impartiality measure, as well as bond, stigma, and several variables that were not assigned variable labels.

Presence of Common Scales:   none

Version(s)

Original ICPSR Release:  

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