Gender Initiatives: Technical Assistance
The mission of the Center for Court Innovation is to help courts and criminal justice agencies aid victims, reduce crime, strengthen neighborhoods, and improve public trust in justice. The Center’s global gender initiatives consist of short and long-term technical assistance and expertise in areas such as: judicial education and training, access to justice, and building constituencies for reform (particularly court-community partnerships and bridging the gaps between the justice system and civil society).
The Center for Court Innovation’s global gender initiatives use research-driven principles, including:
- Using data to define the problem
- Identifying existing resources and potential partners
- Assisting in reaching out to the local community to build effective multi-agency partnerships
- Promoting training and informed decision-making at all levels
- Incorporating best/emerging practices into processes
- Helping to create innovative responses to gender-based violence
The Center for Court Innovation’s gender initiatives have included working in countries such as Ghana, Australia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Trinidad & Tobago and England:
- Providing training on gender-based and domestic violence for magistrates, judges, police, prosecutors, attorneys, social workers, probation officers, NGO representatives, government representatives and other local stakeholders
- Meeting with local and international stakeholders to assess the current gaps in services and barriers to justice for women, including meeting with courts, government agencies, and policy and planning representatives to discuss the creation of specialized courts to address family and sexual violence
- Participating in gender assessments and offering recommendations and strategies to increase and support the meaningful participation of women in community development
- Facilitating discussions around removing barriers to women’s access to justice, specifically around issues of domestic violence, including the importance of partnerships between the judiciary and community stakeholders (i.e. NGOs supporting the work of the Court in promoting women’s access to justice)
- Partnering with local NGOs to implement programs on judicial sensitization on issues of gender-based and domestic violence
- Contributing to the production of resource/training manuals on domestic violence
- Working on long-term projects assisting in the planning of specialized domestic violence courts
- Providing on-going technical assistance on domestic violence, research and project evaluation
- Hosting study tours and site visits to New York with a focus on specialized initiatives for domestic and sexual violence and court reform
Click here to read Gender Initiatives Technical Assistance Case Studies.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE COURT ASSISTANCE
The Center’s services include:
- Site visits to domestic violence courts
- Hands-on assistance
- Planning toolkit
- Evaluation/Research tools
- Domestic violence training for non-judicial personnel
Site visits to domestic violence courts
Site visits are one of the best vehicles for introducing planners to the concepts and practice of domestic violence courts. Over the years, the Center has conducted structured tours for visitors to the Brooklyn Felony Domestic Violence Court, Queens Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Court, and New York's various other domestic violence courts and integrated domestic violence courts, including Westchester, Suffolk County, and Queens.
On a typical site visit, visitors will:
- see the courtroom in action and meet the judge;
- meet project staff and other key stakeholders, who will be available to answer questions;
- obtain sample documents; and
- brainstorm new approaches to problems back home.
The Center for Court Innovation provides intensive one-on-one assistance in the planning, implementation, and enhancement of integrated domestic violence courts and domestic violence courts.
Assistance is available in five main areas:
1. NEEDS ASSESSMENT
A needs assessment helps pinpoint pressing local problems, providing quantitative and qualitative data to sharpen planners’ understanding of the issues at hand.
2. PLANNING DOCUMENT
Once the problems have been clearly defined, the Center can help planners create a detailed planning document that spells out the scope and goals of a court and outlines its policies and procedures.
3. PROJECT DEVELOPMENT
Armed with a clear, detailed idea about how to proceed, the Center can make it happen by helping clients identify ways to overcome hurdles and obstacles, and devise new ways to engage the community and potential government partners.
The Center can then help planners evaluate the project by establishing performance measures and measuring its actual impact on victims and offenders.
Finally, the Center can assist with troubleshooting, helping program managers analyze operations and make mid-course adjustments.
This guidebook can offer practical, step-by-step instruction for all phases of the planning process, including:
- Creation of a planning team
- Development of a work plan
- Design of a data-collection and needs-assessment strategy
- System mapping and analysis of current domestic violence case flow and caseload
- Community resource assessment
Center for Court Innovation experts provide customized workshops, panels, and trainings on domestic violence courts to practitioners and court personnel interested in the principles of domestic violence courts and integrated domestic violence courts, domestic violence dynamic, cultural competency, sexual assault and domestic violence, and other topics as requested. Speakers from the Center have participated in conferences across the U.S. and internationally.
Center for Court Innovation researchers are available to conduct original research, including both impact and process evaluations, and to produce publications as well as to assist local jurisdictions in setting performances measures.
The Center has produced a number of publications on domestic violence courts; click here to read the Center’s domestic violence court-related publications, or visit the Research page to learn more about the Center’s research team and its projects.