Courts have a critical role to play in combating and preventing domestic violence.
For example, Stearns County, Minnesota, with the assistance of the Center for Court Innovation’s domestic violence team, recently created the nation’s first domestic violence court that focuses on repeat domestic violence felony offenses. In the Stearns County program, participating offenders who present a significant risk to their intimate partners are mandated to intensive pretrial supervision. Victims receive social services and civil legal assistance focused on enhancing their safety and well-being. In recognition of their pioneering efforts, the Stearns County program is one of the models being highlighted this week at the national Innovations in Criminal Justice summit organized by the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys.
The Center for Court Innovation provides technical assistance to Stearns County and other jurisdictions with the support of the U.S. Department of Justice's Office on Violence Against Women, which recently released the Court Training and Improvements Program solicitation (due March 11).
In addition to providing training and technical assistance, the Center for Court Innovation also evaluates innovative domestic violence programs across the country. For example, researchers from the Center recently completed an impact evaluation of 24 New York State domestic violence courts. Among other findings, the evaluation documented that the courts reduced the rate of re-arrests among convicted offenders. Those courts that prioritized sanctioning non-compliant offenders and addressing victims' safety and service needs had a greater impact on recidivism than other courts.
To learn more about the Center for Court Innovation's work with domestic violence courts, please contact Liberty Aldrich at email@example.com.