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Evaluation of Efforts to Implement No-Drop Policies: Two Central Values in Conflict, Final Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 2001
91 pages

Research conducted in Omaha, NE, Everett, WA, Klamath Falls, OR, and San Diego, CA, sought to determine if prosecution of perpetrators of domestic assault without the victim’s consent was feasible with appropriate increases in resources.


The study chose the three sites due to their receipt of funds from the Office of Justice Program for no-drop prosecution under the Violence against Women Office grant program to encourage arrest policies. These sites’ grant proposals seemed the clearest about implementing a strong no-drop policy. The research added San Diego to the sites because it was the first place to try no-drop and is regarded as successful. Study information came from interviews with criminal justice officials, onsite observations, a review of written policies, analysis of case samples, and victim interviews. Results revealed that no-drop is more a philosophy than a strict policy of prosecuting domestic violence cases. None of the prosecutors pursued every case they filed. Results also revealed that establishing a no-drop policy can increase convictions significantly. Findings also indicated that implementing no-drop requires significant case screening up front and that a successful no-drop policy requires judges who accept the idea of admitting hearsay or excited utterances from victims and statements from defendants, or documentation of prior bad acts. Findings also revealed that no-drop is expensive. Finally, the interview data suggested that victims may regard prosecution as beneficial, even if they did not want any action beyond arrest. Figures, tables, and 15 references

Date Published: March 1, 2001