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Domestic violence | Free Family Law Essay
Others point to the more hidden consequences that mandatory arrests pose in regard to issues of race and class. As previously discussed, dual arrest rates surged as a result of mandatory arrest policies. For example, the rates of female arrests for domestic violence rose from 12.9% to 21% in the state of Maryland; from 6% to 16.5% in a California study; and shockingly, in the city of Sacramento alone, there was a 91% increase in women arrested, and a 7% decrease in men arrested (Chesney-Lind, 2002). Concurrently, African American females were arrested at almost 3 times the rate of Caucasian women in 1998 (Chesney-Lind, 2002).
EFFECTS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ON CHILDREN essays
The Minneapolis Domestic Violence Experiment (MDVE) was conducted to determine whether arresting offenders for domestic violence significantly reduced subsequent arrests (Sherman & Berk, 1984). Many in the legislative community and elsewhere interpreted the MDVE results, which suggested that mandatory arrest could reduce future arrests, as a strong support for mandatory arrest laws for the law enforcement response to domestic violence. In fact, most states soon passed pro/mandatory arrest statutes, and law enforcement agencies implemented pro/mandatory arrest policies for cases of domestic violence. It did not take long, however, for the practice community to realize that there were going to be several unintended consequences of mandatory arrest policies. For example, as a result of mandatory arrest policies, female arrests for domestic violence have increased dramatically because often, officers who respond to domestic violence calls are unsure which partner is the primary aggressor. If the perpetrator has wounds as well as the victim, the officer is often unable to conclusively identify whose wounds are offensive and whose are defensive. Having not witnessed the altercation, the responding officer has no choice but to arrest both parties (Parmley, 2004). Some feel that as a result of the increased risk for arrest, victims of domestic violence may be less likely to contact the police, thus risking their safety and further enabling the abuser.