Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


International Crime and Justice

First Advisor's Name

Stephen F. Pires

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Rob Guerette

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Third Advisor's Name

Tim Goddard

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Amy Paul-Ward

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member


Domestic violence, policing, repeat offenders, focused deterrence, EMMIE, program evaluation, ARIMA, linear mixed modeling, mixed-methods, shadowing, Florida, Broward County

Date of Defense



As the emphasis on increasing the body of evidence for (or against) policing interventions grows, so does scholars' responsibility to identify not only what works but why, for whom, and in what contexts. An emerging police approach to domestic violence (DV) using offender-focused strategies has grown in popularity. However, the evidence base is small and does not explore inside the “black box” of the main strategic activities. To address this evidence deficiency and provide the first-ever primary study of this type of program, a comprehensive evaluation of a focused deterrence-based policing intervention for DV situated around the EMMIE (Effects, Mechanisms, Moderators, Implementation, and Economics) framework (Johnson et al., 2015) was conducted. A mixed-methods design was used to assess the framework's five elements.

The study consisted of process and impact evaluations of the Offender-Focused Domestic Violence Initiative (OFDVI) implemented in Hollywood, Florida, between 2015 and 2019. Police administrative data, including DV reports and arrests and UCR offense data, were used to identify DV trends in the city between 2008 and 2019. These trends were then compared to those in nearby jurisdictions. Domestic offender activity was analyzed to assess whether the program influenced offending patterns and recidivism. Thirty interviews and seven ride-alongs with on-duty officers were conducted to understand how the program was implemented across the department. Finally, a direct cost analysis was conducted to assess the financial burden of the intervention.

The findings show that Hollywood experienced a sharp, statistically significant decline in the number of DV police reports filed during the study period. However, mixed-effects linear modeling indicated that the intervention was not associated with this decline; the region experienced a similar decrease in DV during the same period. Additionally, Cox Hazard Modeling showed that offenders who received the primary deterrence treatment implemented as part of the program, a letter, were likely to reoffend quicker than those who did not. Despite these negative results, the intervention was found to offer other benefits to police and the community that warrant further consideration for police departments seeking progressive, cost-effective strategies to reduce and prevent DV.






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