Our Widget:: Why Don't They Just Leave?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Addicted to Power and Control: Inmates who Incriminate Themselves

The Times ran a fascinating story last week (here) about New York City alleged domestic violence inmates who incriminate themselves in recorded jail house conversations.

Jail policy was changed to allow recording in 2007, and the installation of a digital recording system was completed last year. With the recording system in place, alleged batterers being held in city jails have been caught pressuring and cajoling their partners to change testimony or not appear in court. In many cases, the fact that the partners were even visiting represented a violation of a protection order. Prosecutors say that the recordings have been particularly useful in cases of "no drop" prosecution -- cases where the victim has declined to testify against the abuser -- which happens 75 percent of the time, according to the NYT.

Well known domestic violence prosecutor and family justice center innovator Casey Gwinn believes that the new system represents a huge breakthrough. He told the Times: "'When you’re talking about domestic violence cases,' Mr. Gwinn said, 'this policy of monitoring every jail call is probably the single most important investigative procedure put in place in the last decade anywhere in the country.'"