Justice Denied: Arrest Policies for Domestic Violence
For many years, advocates have pushed for the strengthening of arrest laws and policies as a deterrent to domestic violence. These persons have had to overcome a number of legal objections related to due process of law. But over the past two decades, states have enacted domestic violence laws that increasingly depart from time-honored protections, say these authors. The aim of this Special Report is to document how, in the authors' opinion, arrest policies driven by the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) violate fundamental notions of due process and equal protection under the law. They review the evolution of arrest policies for domestic violence over the past 20 years, focusing on changes resulting from passage of the VAWA. In particular, they discuss the impact of VAWA provisions on warrantless arrest, mandatory and pro-arrest laws, the concept of primary aggressor, arrests for violation of civil restraining orders, and gender bias in law enforcement.