Domestic Violence Cases: What Research Shows About Arrest and Dual Arrest Rates

Published July 25, 2008

Chapter 2. In-Depth Survey of Police Departments


In the second part of the study, researchers conducted a survey of police departments. They determined whether jurisdiction policies were the same as state laws and identified the factors that led to arrests. They selected four states for detailed analysis:

  • Connecticut (Mandatory arrest law)
  • Virginia (Mandatory arrest law)
  • Tennessee (Preferred arrest law)
  • Idaho (Discretionary arrest law)

How did researchers determine what factors led to arrest?

Researchers selected two medium to large jurisdictions in each state, and at least one smaller jurisdiction near each of the larger cities. All these jurisdictions provided police records on their arrests in domestic violence incidents.

How did researchers compare state laws and jurisdiction policies?

Researchers surveyed 479 departments from the four selected states and Michigan (discretionary arrest law). The survey included all jurisdictions in Connecticut and Idaho. All jurisdictions with a population of 50,000 or more, and a random sample of the smaller jurisdictions, were surveyed in the other three states.

Date Created: July 25, 2008