Carrie M. Hobbs


This Comment addresses the growing concern that the incompatible forces of shrinking budgets and increased caseloads are leading to ineffective domestic violence case management, particularly in prosecutors’ offices. With so many cases and so few resources, prosecutors need tools to discern which cases should have priority. Recognizing that risk assessment tools have many drawbacks, this Comment advocates for development of a risk assessment tool that can help prosecutors determine which cases to pursue and assist them in making other pretrial determinations. Part II of this Comment provides a background on domestic violence research and isolates the issues that arise in the context of case screening. Part III examines the risk assessment tools currently used in domestic violence cases. Part IV addresses the drawbacks and advantages of using risk assessment tools for case management. Finally, Part V advocates for a useful, but cautious, risk assessment tool for use by prosecutors in case management.