Police Charging Decisions in Child Maltreatment Investigations: Findings from the 2008 Ontario Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect
Dunnen, Wendy den
MetadataShow full item record
The objective of this study is to use logistic regression to examine factors that influence charging decisions by the police during child maltreatment investigations. An estimated 4,808 substantiated 10 child maltreatment investigations that involved police were obtained from the 2008 Ontario Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect. Of the 4,808 cases examined, police laid charges in about one-third of the cases. Controlling for all other factors, police were 1.6 times more likely to lay charges in 15 physical abuse cases and 2.5 times more likely to lay charges in sexual abuse cases. Other factors associated with police charging decisions include: older victim, cases with multiple types of maltreatment, cases opened for ongoing services, and cases of the child is living in a house known to have drugs or household 20 hazards. The article discusses the results and their implications for child welfare policy and practice.