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Mandatory Arrest for Domestic Violence: The Courts' Response

NCJ Number
Criminal Justice Review Volume: 19 Issue: 2 Dated: (Autumn 1994) Pages: 212-227
Date Published
16 pages
This article reports the results of a study conducted in the Connecticut courts one year after the implementation of Statewide mandatory arrest policies for domestic violence.
Three levels of analysis were conducted using police records of 448 cases: description of offender characteristics and court outcomes, assessment of specific variables on the decision to prosecute, and a multivariate analysis to distinguish court outcomes. The results showed that only 14 percent of arrested offenders were prosecuted and convicted of charges stemming from domestic assault. A nolled decision was the usual outcome of arrest. Prosecution appeared to be reserved for offenders with the most serious family violence history and current offense. The discriminant model was able to differentiate nolled and dismissed cases from prosecuted cases reasonably well. Decisionmaking in family violence cases was shaped more by legal than by extralegal factors. The use of alcohol and drugs was strongly predictive of prosecution. Nonetheless, the courts were more likely to prosecute defendants who were younger and who were married. 4 tables and 33 references

Date Published: January 1, 1994