Analyze the criminal behavior of domestic violence and describe how criminal behavior is evaluated towards the formation of new policy for social order in the criminal justice system. Compare and contrast the history and the future of domestic violence law. | Domestic violence is a crime. Any person who hits, chokes, kicks, threatens, harasses, or interferes with the personal liberty of another family or household member has broken Illinois Domestic Violence law.
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Under Illinois law family or household members are defined as; family members related by blood, people who are married or used to be married, people who share or used to share a home, apartment, or other common dwelling, people who have or allegedly have a child in common or blood relationship through a child in common, people who are dating or engaged or used to date: including same sex couples, and people with disabilities and their personal assistants. Typically, in a case involving a charge of Domestic Battery / Violence, the police will arrest the accused and take them to the police station lockup.
After posting a bond, the accused is released but is not allowed to return to the home for at least 72 hours. Further, an order of protection is issued by the Criminal Court and a court date is assigned for the case. You can be sentenced to jail. A conviction becomes a permanent public record and can only be cleared by a Governor’s pardon. Employers, credit agencies and landlords can view your criminal record. A conviction for Domestic Battery / Violence cannot be expunged or sealed. A conviction can affect your custody and visitation rights.
The entry of an Order of Protection could affect access to your family, home and property. The sentence for Domestic Battery / Violence under Illinois law, Domestic Battery / Violence is a Class A misdemeanor which can carry a prison sentence for up to 1 year. A second conviction of Domestic Battery is a Class 4 felony which carries a prison sentence from 1 to 3 years. However, probation is available as an alternativeto jail. In addition, if you have been convicted of a Domestic Battery within the past 5 years, you must serve at least 72 hours in jail.
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The key is to avoid a conviction and have your case dismissed. Property and Personal crimes are alike because they are consideredcrimes on a person or persons. Property is owned by a person or persons which are also considered to be a personal crime and personal crimes are strictly crimes committed on the actual person or persons. Criminal offenses against property are categorized as theft, burglary, and robbery. These crimes are felonies in Illinois unless the value of the property taken is under $300.
Similarly, whether a crime against property is charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depends on the value of the property taken or damaged. The statute prohibiting criminal damage to property, for example, proscribes knowingly or recklessly damaging another’s property, setting a fire on another’s property, injuring another’s domestic animal, and setting a stink bomb or other offensive-smelling compound on another’s property. If the damage to the property is no more than $300, these crimes are misdemeanors; if the damage equals more than $300, the crimes are felonies.
Similarly, criminal defacement of property is knowingly damaging another’s property with paint, an etching tool, a writing instrument, or a similar device; the severity of punishment depends on the level of offense, which is a misdemeanor or felony depending on whether the property damage exceeds $300. The punishment for property crimes ranges anywhere from a fine of $25,000 to 30 years in prison. Personal crimes are considered to be; Rape, sexual assault, personal robbery, assault, purse snatching and pocket picking.
This category includes both attempted and completed crimes. Types of Personal crimes are; Aggravated assault: Unlawfully attacking another person to inflict severe or aggravated bodily injury, usually accompanied by the use of a weapon or by other means likely to produce death or grave bodily harm. Attempted aggravated assault that involves the use or threat of use of a gun, knife or other weapon is included in this crime category because serious personal injury likely would result.
Forcible Rape: The “carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will. ” UCR includes assaults and attempts to commit rape by force or threat of force but excludes statutory rape (without force) and other sex offenses. UCR collects data only on the rape of women. Murder: Killing a human in a willful and non-negligent manner. Robbery: Taking or attempting to take anything of value from a person by force or threat of force or violence.
Victim’s rights as they relate to domestic violence are; The right to be treated with fairness and respect for their dignity and privacy throughout the criminal justice process, The right to notification of court proceedings, The right to confer with the prosecution, The right to make a statement to the court at sentencing, The right to information about the conviction, sentence, imprisonment, and release of the accused, The right to timely disposition of the case following the arrest of the accused, The right to be reasonably protected from the accused throughout the criminal justice process, The right to be present at the trial and all other court proceedings on the same basis as the accused, unless the victim is to testify and the court determines that the victim’s testimony would be materially affected if the victim hears other testimony at the trial, The right to have present at all court proceedings, subject to the rules of evidence, an advocate or other support person of the victim’s choice, and The right to restitution. Many believe the historical inequality of women and gender socialization of females and males contribute to the root causes of domestic violence. Until the 1970’s, women who were raped or suffered violence in their homes had no formal place to go for help or support.
Shelters and services for victims of domestic violence did not exist and there was little, if any, response from criminal or civil courts, law enforcement, hospitals, and social service agencies. Society and its formal institutions viewed domestic violence as a “private matter. ” As awareness and recognition of this problem grew, groups of women organized an advocacy movement that focused on addressing the safety needs of victims and the systemic barriers and social attitudes that contributed to domestic violence. Volunteers established safe havens and crisis services for victims of domestic violence in their homes and held meetings where they began to define violence against women as a political issue.
This grass roots effort, commonly referred to as the “Battered Women’s Movement,” revolutionized the responses to injustices against women into a social movement that forms the foundation of existing domestic violence advocacy and community-based programs throughout the country. The need for safe alternatives for victims of domestic violence called for a major social transformation and the Battered Women’s Movement was an essential part of that struggle. Feminists, community activists, and survivors of rape and domestic violence responded with three primary goals: (1) securing shelter and support for victims and their children, (2) improving legal and criminal justice responses, and (3) changing the public consciousness about domestic violence.
Domestic Violence is a pattern of controlling behaviors, some of which are criminal, that include but are not limited to physical assaults, sexual assaults, emotional abuse, isolation, economic coercion, threats, stalking and intimidation. The batterer uses these behaviors in an effort to control the intimate partner. The behavior may be directed at others with the effect of controlling the intimate partner. Criminal behavior in domestic violence situations may be directed against the person, property, animals, associates, and family members of the victim. It may include violation of any criminal law and is not limited to physical assaults, sexual assaults, threats or stalking behavior. While many changes are being suggested for the criminal justice system, perhaps two initiatives at the federal level could be of particular significance for social workers.
They include, the National Criminal Justice Commission Act of 2009 (introduced by Senator James Webb (D, VA)) would create a blue-ribbon commission to look at every aspect of the criminal justice system with an eye towards identifying areas in need of improvement. A number of provisions proposed in the act call for greatly expanded psychosocial services, especially related to substance abuse treatment and mental health treatment. Social workers at the state and national level have an opportunity to collaborate with governmental and non-governmental supporters of reform to ensure that the National Criminal Justice Commission Act is passed. The social work profession also has an opportunity to ensure that one or more of the commissioners represent the interests of social workers and other service provider stakeholders in the criminal justice system.
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