Dual Arrest in Intimate Partner Violence Incidents: The Influence of Police Officer, Incident, and Organizational Characteristics

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An unintended consequence of mandatory and preferred arrest laws has been dual arrest, the arrest of both parties in an incident involving intimate partner violence. Concern has been raised that its continued use may have an undesirable impact on the victims particularly as it relates to revictimization by the criminal justice system. Using family violence arrest data from 21 municipalities in southwestern Connecticut for calendar year 2005, this research tests the influence of officer, incident arrest both parties in an incident involving intimate partner violence. The sampling frame for the research is all family violence incidents that occurred from January 1, 2005 through December 31, 2005 in the 21 municipalities identified above, that resulted in arrest. In order for the incident to be included in the sampling frame, it had to involve a couple in an intimate relationship. Binary logistic regression was employed to test each of the independent variables and examine their contribution to the prediction of dual arrest. Significant predictors were identified as departmental policy with self-defense language, offense seriousness, officer seniority, and spousal relationship. The implications of the research include an understanding of dual arrest, the need for better data collection, illumination of the benefits of self-defense language in departmental policies, the need for enhanced police officer training, and demonstration of the need for primary aggressor language in statutory law.


Thesis (Ph. D.)--City University of New York, 2009. Adviser: Professor Justin Ready.

A dissertation submitted to the Graduate Faculty in Criminal Justice in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, The City University of New York.

UMI Number: 3378607