Data from family violence cases that disposed in the Connecticut criminal courts in the first 6 months of 1988 were used to examine the characteristics of the crime and the people involved in cases in which both the perpetrator and the victim were arrested, with emphasis on the women arrested.
The State's mandatory arrest law was implemented 3 months before the beginning of this period. The data came from a stratified sample of 448 of 4,138 disposed family violence cases, as well as 90 prosecutor files. Thirty- three percent of the 448 cases disposed were dual arrests. The persons involved in dual arrest were primarily white, young, nonurban, unmarried employed person. The incident was likely to involve alcohol or drug use and physical beating with the hands or fists. Forty percent of the women arrested were previously victimized in a domestic assault incident. Findings suggested that dual arrests may reflect both the differential use of violence in domestic relations and the excessive enforcement of arrest policies by some police agencies. Tables and 36 references (Author abstract modified)