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Criminal Justice & Legal System

Study finds arrests of women have increased dramatically in recent years

woman.arrested.jpg
Andrew Bossi
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Creative Commons

Women are being arrested more frequently than they were 20 years ago.

A new study from Michigan State University says arrests have increased 26.7% since 1993, while arrests for violent crimes have jumped 53.2%.

Christina DeJong, who co-authored the paper, doesn't think that means women are becoming more violent.

Instead, she thinks the jump may be due to the criminal justice system's response to domestic assault, rape and other violent crimes against women. 

"If a victim tries to defend herself physically, and her abuser claims he has been struck, then a police officer can arrest both parties," she said.
 
DeJong also points toward "dual arrest policies," under which police must arrest both sides in a domestic assault. 

"It's extremely disconcerting that women victims are frequently re-labeled as offenders," she said. "Then [they] have all the problems and all the baggage that comes along with being labeled a criminal offender."

The study says arrest rates for men during the same period decreased 12.5% overall and 13.5% for violent crimes.

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