With crimes of intimate partner violence, sexual assault and stalking, it is vital that the criminal justice system responds in effective and collaborative ways that promote victim safety and hold offenders accountable. When efforts are coordinated across agencies and practitioners, the system’s overall ability to achieve these two goals is enhanced.
Using a coordinated community response model, practitioners are encouraged to identify and utilize effective means to work within and across agencies to protect victims of intimate partner violence, sexual assault and stalking and to help offenders change their behaviors. BWJP works with practitioners in the criminal justice system to identify, develop and analyze solutions to enhance intervention efforts and improve the quality of justice in these cases.
An effective criminal justice response to cases of intimate partner violence, sexual assault and stalking requires a partnership among system and community practitioners to identify and implement innovative solutions that further the shared goals of victim safety and offender accountability, while being continually informed by the needs and experiences of victims and by the disproportionate impact that system actions might have on victims and offenders from marginalized communities. A CCR model creates and sustains solid collaboration across and among practitioners involved in the criminal justice system to maximize the ability to gain control over offenders, to intervene quickly to new acts of violence or intimidation and to increase the overall capacity to better protect victims. An effective and just intervention to these crimes cannot be achieved with a one-dimensional, “one-size-fits-all” response. Instead, an effective intervention must account not only for the context and severity of the violence, including the degree of coercive control exercised by offenders, but the life circumstances of both victims and offenders in individual cases as well.
As a criminal case moves from initial response to final disposition, no practitioner acts independently from those who precede or follow. The decisions and actions of one practitioner can be strengthened by the collaborative efforts across the criminal justice system. A coordinated, interagency response requires that all practitioners recognize the impact that such acts of violence and coercive control have on victims and respond in effective and appropriate ways to enhance victim safety and hold offenders accountable, while reducing unintended consequences for marginalized communities.
An effective interagency response (CCR model) often includes the following practitioners:
- Community Advocates
- Law Enforcement
- Victim/Witness Staff
- Judges and Court Staff
- Probation/Parole Officers
- Batterer Intervention Programs
- Medical/SANE staff
In its efforts to improve the response of all practitioners in the criminal justice system, BWJP promotes effective interagency practices by:
- Analyzing and identifying the best protocols and tools that help practitioners to respond in collaborative ways that promote victim safety and access to resources;
- Helping communities and local agencies evaluate their current practices and develop solutions to improve responses to victims and offenders, without creating additional unintended consequences;
- Preparing and distributing legal and policy analyses of criminal case law developments, statutory changes and promising community practices;
- Providing skill-based training for practitioners that is research-informed and practice-based; and
- Directly assisting individual practitioners with specific case consultation, research and referrals.