During the webinar, presenters Doris O’Neal, Melissa Scaia, and Dr. Carolyn West share their insights on not only the different types of intimate partner violence caused by women, but on best practices for responding to their needs, strengths, and stories. With respect to the criminalization of survivors, they also explore the impacts of the criminal legal system at the intersection of gender, race, and intimate partner violence.
Dr. Anton Treuer, Professor of Ojibwe at Bemidji State University, discusses the role of bias in the justice system and its impact on Native Americans. He talks about some of the recent initiatives in Beltrami County and we hear from Judge Paul Benshoof about the introduction of tribal flags in the domestic violence court. Dr. Treuer addresses ways in which court staff and others working in the justice system can have frank conversations about bias and historical trauma, and incorporate cultural elements into services for survivors and people who cause harm.
In Hennepin County, the family court created a project to address several key and unmet needs. To ensure family safety, the court began screening for and addressing domestic violence in custody/visitation and child support cases. The project also looked to enhance access and improve the court experience for all litigants. It specifically sought to rebuild trust with the Native American community who were not accessing the court system. After judicial listening sessions, the court hired a tribal state liaison and introduced a number of changes to improve the process.
Associate Justice Anne K. McKeig of the Minnesota Supreme Court talks about the importance of judicial leadership and having a diverse bench. She shares her experience on creating change within the courtroom and the justice system. As part of our national work providing expert assistance to courts and communities looking to implement or improve specialized, court-based responses to domestic violence, this video was made for the Judicial Engagement Network, which works to strengthen judicial leadership on domestic violence.
What's the most effective way to reduce the chance of an arrest in the future? A new study suggests it's shrinking the size of the justice system in the here and now. Boston D.A. Rachael Rollins and the director of NYU's Public Safety Lab, Anna Harvey, talk about the benefits of not prosecuting low-level charges—an almost 60 percent reduction in recidivism—and the challenges, even with data in hand, of bucking the conventional wisdom.
One year into New York State’s sweeping restrictions to the use of bail and pretrial detention, the reform has produced sustained reductions in the reliance on both. But, at least in New York City, the reform’s impact has been significantly diminished—most notably, by an unexpected mid-year spike in bail-setting by judges.
This guide provides lessons learned from the Center’s Restorative Justice in Schools Project. Over the course of three years, our team worked in five high schools implementing restorative practices. The theory of change was simple: strong relationships create safer and healthier school environments. The aim of the guide is to assist educators, students, and community members in shifting their schools away from punitive approaches and towards a more restorative environment, and to lay the foundation for the entire school community to build positive connections.
Litigants involved in domestic violence cases often report being overwhelmed by the legal process—when the same incident gives rise to simultaneous cases in civil and criminal court, litigants may be shuffled between multiple courtrooms and courthouses. In order to support victim safety and meaningful accountability, court systems should work towards providing a holistic, coordinated response based on comprehensive information about all legal cases involving the parties before them.
Delays in processing criminal cases—long endemic to New York City's courts—drive up jail populations and impose harm on people detained before trial and on crime victims. A recent pilot project we implemented in Brooklyn succeeded in significantly reducing felony case delay. The project offers important lessons for New York's efforts to durably reduce its reliance on incarceration.
Domestic violence cases are often described by judges and court staff as having one of the highest potentials for violence in and around the courthouse. While courts may implement general court security best practices, domestic violence cases present uniquely dangerous risks towards courthouse safety, for both litigants and court staff.