Child Abuse and Highly Deferential Policies

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WEEK 7

What are the pros and cons of mandatory arrest? How about the no drop policy for interpersonal violence arrests? How would approach this differently? About twenty years ago states starting passing mandatory arrest laws. These laws force officers to arrest someone every time they are called out to a domestic abuse call. The number of murders by abusers is higher in states with mandatory arrest laws than it is in other states. At first the mandatory arrest laws were helpful but the laws did not take into account the intricacies of domestic abuse. Victims figured out that if the called the police their abuser would be arrested, which is not what the victim always wanted to happen. Most victims have emotional, psychological, and financial ties to their abusers. This meant ultimately the victim was deciding the abuser would be arrested not the police. Victims started contacting police less and less because they did not want to have to make that choice. Another concern victims of domestic abuse have are dual arrests. If the police go to the scene and cannot tell who is telling the truth or not, they might have to arrest both parties involved! This type of action is not helpful to anyone involved. Often victims are also concerned if they will get arrested because they physically defended themselves or their children. Dual arrests are frustrating for the police officers as well. Domestic abuse is a problem that is getting more and more public awareness but law officials still haven't found the perfect policy and law to protect everyone involved in domestic abuse. Laws are written in black and white terms; unfortunately most domestic abuse situations to an outsider are very gray. In general, a no-drop prosecution policy is one in which the state prosecutor decides whether to prosecute a domestic violence perpetrator, regardless of the victim’s wishes. These policies range from strict or “hard” no-drop policies to highly deferential policies. A “hard” no-drop...
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