Policing and Prosecution Present More Harm than Good: Leigh Goodmark Discusses De-Criminalizing Domestic Violence to Provide Victims Greater Support

Leigh Goodmark (‘95), Professor of Law and Co-Director, Clinical Law Program at University of Maryland School of Law, was quoted in an article for The Appeal, discussing studies that show survivors of domestic violence are less likely to report abuse when they think that will lead to an arrest and challenging the precept that police are the best response to domestic violence (“The Defund Movement Aims to Change the Policing and Prosecution of Domestic Violence,” July 28). “Recognizing just how toxic criminal system intervention can be, the harm it can do to victims, and how little it does to ensure safety, there is no justification for maintaining the current law enforcement structure and much to suggest that a ‘defund the police’ world would yield better results for victims of violence. What we need to do is to determine exactly what it is we want from police in the context of intimate partner violence (a first responder, for example), and find less harmful, more effective substitutes.”