Year of Award


Document Type

Professional Paper

Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name

Sociology (Criminology Option)

Department or School/College

Department of Sociology

Committee Chair

Daisy Rooks

Commitee Members

Daniel Doyle, Danielle Wozniak


adjudication, anger management, batterers, domestic violence, family assault, PFMA, sentence compliance


University of Montana


In recent years, there has been great concern among those who work in the criminal justice system, in Missoula, Montana, about the processing of domestic violence offenders. Many of these people believe that domestic violence defendants are not being consistently prosecuted, and that convicted offenders are not completing their mandated anger management program. To address these concerns, this analysis examines the adjudication, from arrest to sentencing, of a cohort of defendants appearing in Missoula Municipal Court and Missoula County Justice Court. The sample includes defendants whose final charge between July 1, 2007 and June 30, 2008 was Partner/Family Member Assault (PFMA) per Montana Code Annotated [MCA] 45-5-206. Databases were constructed using information extracted from Missoula Municipal Court and Missoula County Justice Court FullCourt data systems. Because this local system provides only jurisdiction-specific data, cases were matched and populated by information from the State of Montana Repository data. Montana law requires than an offender pay for and complete 40 hours of anger management upon conviction of partner/family member assault. However many offenders who are mandated to anger management are not compliant with their sentence. The results of this study indicate a non-completion rate of 58.3% in Municipal Court and 55.2% in Justice Court. This study examines the effect of chemical dependency treatment and misdemeanor probation on the likelihood of anger management program completion. The findings of this study have encouraged changes in Missoula’s criminal justice system. Specifically, a grant application was submitted to the Montana Board of Crime Control to hire a sentence compliance monitor within the City Attorney’s Office of Missoula.



© Copyright 2011 Sara Justine Shapiro