Published: October, 2012| Rhonda Martinson

Knoxville and Knox County, Tennessee have a long and rich history of coordinating and organizing their communities’ responses to domestic violence. In 2000, they completed their first Safety and Accountability Audit (now called Community Safety Assessment) which produced 105 recommendations to improve services to victims of domestic violence and to hold offenders accountable; in 2004 they founded a Family Justice Center, which was supported by the Office on Violence Against Women, as well as the local community; and most recently, in 2010, the engaged in a second Safety Audit, this time asking the question, “how are domestic violence offenders held accountable in Knoxville and Knox County justice system interventions” The Audit Team members were comprised of community-based advocates as well as criminal justice practitioners from throughout the criminal justice system in Knoxville and Knox County. Team members conducted activities under the guidance of BWJP Attorney Advisor, Rhonda Martinson; they interviewed practitioners, mapped the criminal justice processes, reviewed files, observed the workplace practices of many agencies and conducted victim focus groups in order to analyze whether domestic violence offenders were truly being held accountable. This report, authored by Rhonda Martinson, articulates their process and findings, and gives recommendations to increase offender accountability within the communities of Knoxville and Knox County, Tennessee.