Domestic Violence

628 Words3 Pages
The evolution of policing to include female workers has left the enduring mark of social work orientation on policing of “women’s issues,” for example, the early police women were professionally trained social workers who used police positions to achieve reform. Buzawa & Buzawa (2008) described the study conducted by Davis et al. (2008) on the impact of differing prosecutorial policies in Brooklyn and the Bronx (e.g., forced prosecution). The results indicated that Brooklyn had no evidence of a lower recidivism rate regardless of type of offense; the court orders did not have a suppressive effect on Brooklyn offenders. Prosecution may actually increase the risk for some victims because much of reoffending occurs after an arrest and prior to actual adjudication. Buzawa & Buzawa (2008) argued counter to the findings of Davis et al. (2008), that “the data presented little reason to forego victim preferences” and allocate additional limited resources to cases where pursuit of misdemeanor cases results in only a 5% conviction rate (p. 680).
Organizational development has reinforced female social work roots, for example, when police women formed their own association in 1915, it constituted a national meeting of social workers more than a police conference according to Schultz (1993). Female officers performed “protective” police functions including keeping prostitutes away from the camps, enforcing liquor sales bans, and returning runaways to their homes. These forms of policing are still evident today in the enforcement of paternalistic laws and morally based bans (e.g., marijuana use). Equal representation, however, is far from the reality of police departments today. Women comprised only 8.8 percent of all sworn officers in municipa...

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... and female victims. The U.S. Department of Justice reported only a slight increase in the percent of sworn law enforcement officers who were women during the 1990s and 2000s. In 2008, the Offices of Inspectors General had the highest representation of women who comprised almost 25 percent of the sworn law enforcement officers (BJS). In the largest police departments nation-wide, the largest increase in percentage of full-time sworn officers (including correctional officers) was just 27 percent between 1997 and 2007 in Detroit (BJS). In the nearly 150 years since women entered police departments as matrons, the role of the female officer has evolved from social workers on the fringe to actively involved crimefighters; however the actual proportion of women employed remains drastically lower than males, “thus the revolution remains incomplete” (Schultz, 1992, p. 97).

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