City's tactics boosts conviction rate for domestic abuseby Brandt Williams, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — A new approach to domestic violence cases has helped significantly boost the conviction rate, said officials with the Minneapolis City Attorney's office.
Officials say between 2005 and 2010, the new investigative method helped increase the conviction rate for misdemeanor domestic violence cases by 50 percent. Part of the protocol involves gathering more evidence at the scene of an assault, which can help in cases where a victim is reluctant to testify or refuses to cooperate, said Michelle Jacobson, a supervisor in the city attorney's office.
"If a police officer is able to take more pictures to gather physical evidence of the assault, sometimes we can go forward with a case and leave the victim out of it when possible," Jacobson said.
Details will be shared by city attorney's officials during a conference today at the University of St. Thomas, in St. Paul.
The new approach is part of the city's effort to focus on misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor assaults. Misdemeanor domestic assaults usually involve threats and mild injuries, Jacobson said.
"One of the reasons we focused on those when we kind of put this new protocol together was that we were hoping to intervene early so we can stop the escalation of the more serious violence," Jacobson said.