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11 J. Experimental Criminology 1 (2015)

handle is hein.journals/jexpcrm11 and id is 1 raw text is: J Exp Criminol (2015) 11:1-20
DOI 10.1007/s11292-014-9203-x
Increased death rates of domestic violence victims
from arresting vs. warning suspects in the Milwaukee
Domestic Violence Experiment (MilDVE)
Lawrence W. Sherman - Heather M. Harris
Published online: 16 May 2014
© The Author(s) 2014. This article is published with open access at Springerlink.com
Objectives We explored death rates from all causes among victims of misdemeanor
domestic violence 23 years after random assignment of their abusers to arrests vs.
Methods We gathered state and national death data on all 1,125 victims (89 % female;
70 % African-American; mean age=30) enrolled by Milwaukee Police in 1987-88,
after 98 % treatment as randomly assigned.
Results Victims were 64 % more likely to have died of all causes if their partners were
arrested and jailed than if warned and allowed to remain at home (p=.037, 95 % CI=
risk ratio of 1:1.024 to 1:2.628). Among the 791 African-American victims, arrest
increased mortality by 98 % (p=.019); among 334 white victims, arrest increased
mortality by only 9 % (95 % CI=RR of 1:0.489 to 1:2.428). The highest victim death
rate across four significant differences found in all 22 moderator tests was within
the group of 192 African-American victims who held jobs: 11 % died after
partner arrests, but none after warnings (d=.8, p=.003). Murder of the victims
caused only three of all 91 deaths; heart disease and other internal morbidity
caused most victim deaths.
Conclusions Partner arrests for domestic common assault apparently increased prema-
ture death for their victims, especially African-Americans. Victims who held jobs at the
time of police response suffered the highest death rates, but only if they were African-
American. Replications and detailed risk factor studies are needed to confirm these
conclusions, which may support repeal or judicial invalidation of state-level mandatory
arrest laws.
L. W. Sherman - H. M. Harris (E)
Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA
e-mail: hmh@umd.edu
L. W. Sherman
Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge, Sidgwick Avenue, CB3 9DA Cambridge, UK
e-mail: 1s434(a cam.ac.uk

4L Springer

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