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NCJ Number: 198516 Find in a Library
Title: Implementing an Integrated Domestic Violence Court: Systemic Change in the District of Columbia
Author(s): Martha Wade Steketee; Lynn S. Levey; Susan L. Keilitz
Corporate Author: National Ctr for State Courts
United States of America
Date Published: June 30, 2000
Page Count: 146
Sponsoring Agency: National Ctr for State Courts
Williamsburg, VA 23185-4147
State Justice Institute
Alexandria, VA 22314
Grant Number: SJI-98-N-016
Sale Source: National Ctr for State Courts
300 Newport Avenue
Williamsburg, VA 23185-4147
United States of America
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Format: Document - Designates non-commercial publications, such as Government and gray literature reports.
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined three interrelated components of the District of Columbia's Domestic Violence Project, which is a collaborative initiative of several government, university, and community agencies, departments, and service providers.
Abstract: These components include a centralized intake unit, called the Domestic Violence Intake Center (DVIC); a specialized clerk's office unit, called the Domestic Violence Coordination Unit (DVCU); and dedicated domestic violence courtrooms and judicial assignments, called the Domestic Violence Unit (DVU). All three of these components are located in the Superior Court for the District of Columbia, but the DVIC is managed and staffed by three partners in the Domestic Violence Project. Administrative data provided a historical context for files reviewed for the study period. Case files were reviewed for approximately 250 DVIC clients (and respondents named in their petitions) who provided consent to be interviewed and who completed at least an initial interview, as well as for an additional sample of 250 petitioners (and respondents named in their petitions) who used the services of the DVIC and the DVU between August and October 1998. DVIC clients were interviewed about their experiences with the DVIC and DVU, as well as their feelings about the impact of the judicial process on their lives. Observations in the DVU courtrooms over several days and in-depth interviews with the system participants provided context and important themes for analysis and some future directions for the DVU and DVIC. Based on its findings, this study recommends the creation of new and the continuation of existing mechanisms for interagency training and collaboration in the leadership of the DVU and the DVIC. Also recommended is the re-examination of key participant roles and missions of the DVIC in order to determine sources of conflict between protecting the interests of adult victims and protecting the interests of child victims. Other recommendations are to acquire software that permits easy communication between the civil and criminal parts of intrafamily cases, the development of consistent and uniform data collection within the DVCU and the DVIC, and the development and implementation of multidisciplinary and discipline-specific ongoing training for all involved in the DVU. 4 tables and appended interview instruments
Main Term(s): Court management
Index Term(s): Court procedures; Court structure; District of Columbia; Domestic assault
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