Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Public Policy & Administration

First Advisor

Jill Gordon

Second Advisor

Robyn Diehl

Third Advisor

Kathleen Ingram

Fourth Advisor

Sarah Brubaker


This dissertation examines recidivism for domestic violence offenders under both traditional probation and specialized probation conditions. This research compares recidivism at a traditional probation locality (Riverside Criminal Justice Services) and a specialized domestic violence unit (Chesterfield Community Corrections Services) in order to determine the nature of recidivism at both localities. In addition, the research aims to identify individual risk factors which are statistically associated with recidivism. The research is based on secondary data and draws on offender criminal records generated by the Virginia State Police, as well the extraction of information from probation files at both localities. The multivariate models indicate that a higher degree of recidivism occurs at the specialized domestic violence unit, and that the experimental locality, along with a younger age, are consistently statistically significant predictors for recidivism. Less consistent but still statistically significant risk factors included positive drug tests, higher supervision levels, and unsuccessful probation completion. The implications of these findings, as well as policy recommendations and directions for future research are fully discussed.


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