New York State Domestic Violence Courts
Program Fact Sheet
New York State's Domestic Violence Courts promote:
- Swift, certain, and consistent responses to domestic violence;
- Victim safety and access to court case information, social services, housing and counseling;
- Intensive monitoring to ensure offender compliance to orders of protection and a swift response to violators;
- Judicial supervision of cases from arraignment through post-disposition when sentences include probation;
- Accountability by offenders and those agencies responsible for defendant program, defendant monitoring and victim advocacy;
- Judicial education on domestic violence issues;
- Court partnership with prosecutors, defense, probation, parole and other stakeholders.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE COURT COMPONENTS
To achieve these goals, New York's Domestic Violence Courts include the following key elements:
A Dedicated Judge
- Presides over cases from arraignment through disposition
- Monitors offenders and their compliance with orders of protection
- Promotes consistent and efficient case handling
- Prepares offender and victim information for the judge
- Holds agencies accountable for accurate and prompt reporting
- Identifies any problems that challenge court components
- Screens and refers offenders to court-mandated programs
- Coordinates information with the police, defense counsel, prosecutors and others
On-Site Victim Advocate
- Serves as primary contact to victims, creates safety plans, and coordinates housing counseling, as well as other social services
- Provides victims with information about criminal proceedings, and special conditions within their orders of protection
Research and Evaluation
- Provides feedback about project performance
- Examines success of intervention programs
- Studies offender compliance with court mandates and analyzes recidivism
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE COURT OPERATIONS IN NEW YORK
The first Domestic Violence Court in New York State opened in Brooklyn in 1996, handling felony-level domestic violence cases. Domestic Violence Courts are currently operating in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Albany, Troy, Glens Falls, Saratoga Springs, Syracuse, Binghamton, Auburn, Buffalo, Clarkstown, Spring Valley, Westchester, Queens, Bronx, and Erie, Nassau, and Suffolk Counties. Courts are also being planned in several other jurisdictions in New York State.
Since 1996, Domestic Violence Courts have seen over 100,000 cases in New York State.
INTEGRATED DOMESTIC VIOLENCE COURTS
Integrated Domestic Violence Courts operate with the same goals as Domestic Violence Courts, but in these Courts one judge handles criminal domestic violence cases and related family issues, such as custody, visitation, civil protection orders and matrimonial actions. By streamlining and centralizing court processes, integrated courts eliminate contradictory orders and reduce the burden on victims, who must otherwise proceed in multiple jurisdictions. They also hold offenders to a higher level of accountability by concentrating responsibility for defendant oversight in the hands of a single judge. In addition, victims gain a greater voice in their cases and are better able to address critical family issues – such as economic dependence -- that impede their ability to prosecute their abusers and, ultimately, to achieve independence .
INTEGRATED DOMESTIC VIOLENCE COURT OPERATIONS IN NEW YORK
Integrated Domestic Violence Courts are currently operating in Rensselaer, Westchester, the Bronx, Rochester, Syracuse, Schenectady, Yonkers, Queens, and Cayuga, Wyoming, Nassau, Suffolk, Richmond, Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Tompkins, Erie and Suffolk Counties. In addition, courts are operating in Kings, Fulton, Hamilton, Montgomery, Oswego, Broome, Chautauqua, Niagara, Orange, and St. Lawrence Counties and will be opening in additional locations across the State.
Since their inception in 2001, Integrated Domestic Violence Courts have served over 5,000 families and seen over 22,000 cases in New York State.
For More Information…
Contact the Division of Criminal Justice Services, Office of Program Development and Funding by calling (518) 457-9726 or via E-Mail.