Review of James Lasley’s Domestic Violence Study
The study conducted by James Lasley in determining the effect of intensive bail supervision on repeat domestic offenders is not a classical experiment even though it exhibits the signs of being one. It resembles a classic experiment in that the selection is random and the subjects are divided into two groups. One group receives intensive supervision from bail bonds agents whereas the second group receives regular supervision, all over a period of 3 years.
The difference between the study conducted and a classical experiment is that the two groups never received the same conditions since one of the primary characteristics of classical experiments is exposing the test groups to similar experimental conditions. Lasley’s experiment, despite randomly exposing the subjects to the experimental parameters, there are not exposed to similar variables. The response to the supervision was dependent several individual variables of the bail bonds agents.
The bail bonds agents have varied responses to situations that would result in the surrender of offenders. The laws dictating the cause of surrender of offenders is a broad spectrum of interpretation, and thus the basis of the arrests made depend on the ‘good cause’ that they feel probably unlike clinical trials where the same groups have individuals suffering from the same disease that has reached the same level of presentation.
Therefore, the findings could be the result of a bail bond’s bias rather than the proposed theory by Sherman Smith. Re-arrested individuals could have either a job or be of Hispanic background but still be abusive to their family and individuals who are unemployed and not of Hispanic background could avoid becoming repeat offenders.
Lasley, J. (2013). The effect of intensive bail supervision on domestic violence offenders. Policy Studies Journal. 31(2), 7 May 2003, pp. 187-207.