Helms School of Government
Primary Subject Area
Beck, Amy L., "Domestic Violence: The Use of Pro-Arrest Policies and Mandatory Prosecutions" (2011). Senior Honors Theses. Paper 245.
Domestic violence is a crime that affects millions of American families. Traditionally,
domestic violence was recognized by the general population and the courts as being a
private issue that should be handled within the boundaries of the family. Law
enforcement and the judicial system played a minimal role and generally maintained a
hands off policy in relation to domestic violence cases. Adding to this mentality of
privacy, the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution prohibits entering a residence without
probable cause. The Minneapolis domestic violence experiment attempted to measure
which police response was most beneficial. In order to empower victims and bring
abusers to justice, state governments should adopt a pro-arrest policy alongside a
mandatory prosecution policy.