Journal of Family Violence

, 25:81 | Cite as

The Interrelationship Between Substance Abuse and the Likelihood of Arrest, Conviction, and Re-offending in Cases of Intimate Partner Violence

  • David HirschelEmail author
  • Ira W. Hutchison
  • Meaghan Shaw
Original Article


The nexus between substance abuse and intimate partner violence has been studied in depth. The interrelationship between substance abuse, intimate partner violence, and the criminal justice system response and subsequent offending has not received as much attention. In this article, the authors examine the impact of substance abuse on the likelihood of an officer’s decision to make an arrest, conviction in that case, and subsequent re-offending. The authors find that while official decision-making remains unaffected by the fact that the offender has been drinking and/or using drugs, substance abuse and subsequent re-offending are inextricably interlinked. These findings highlight the need to screen domestic violence offenders for alcohol/drug abuse, and provide offenders manifesting these problems with alcohol/drug treatment in addition to batterer treatment.


Arrest Alcohol Conviction Intimate partner violence Re-offending 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Hirschel
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ira W. Hutchison
    • 2
  • Meaghan Shaw
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Criminal Justice and CriminologyUniversity of Massachusetts LowellLowellUSA
  2. 2.Department of Sociology and Social WorkNorthern Michigan UniversityMarquetteUSA
  3. 3.Department of Criminal Justice and CriminologyUniversity of Massachusetts LowellLowellUSA

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