Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Lethality Assessments: What are they? Do they work?

February 28, 2017 by Ruth Reichard

Most Indiana judges know that our court system uses risk assessments to evaluate juvenile and adult offenders and to enable probation and pretrial release officers to recommend conditions of release. Judges might assume that a lethality assessment is just another term for a risk assessment. However, the two instruments differ, and they are both [...]

Are you asking the right questions? Intimate Partner Violence and Pet Abuse

Are you asking the right questions? Intimate Partner Violence and Pet Abuse

December 15, 2016 by Ruth Reichard

In civil protection order cases or criminal family violence cases, judges and court staff naturally focus on determining appropriate remedies and consequences for the humans involved. They are always the named parties, victims, witnesses, or protected persons. However, it is likely that if the family home is violent, and if companion animals live in that [...]

Are ACEs in your Courtroom?

September 21, 2016 by Ruth D. Reichard

Adults have one thing in common: we were once children. The quality of one’s childhood may have been tumultuous, nurturing, or a little of both. Certain events from childhood can stay with a person, sometimes long into adulthood.  There is a scientifically documented relationship between events occurring in one’s childhood and an adult’s health and [...]

Trauma and the Courts – Being an Informed Court

Trauma and the Courts – Being an Informed Court

June 23, 2016 by Ruth Reichard

The Issue
Unless they are there for a wedding or an adoption, people rarely come to court for a happy, positive reason. Judges who handle criminal cases involving allegations of spousal or child abuse, sexual assault, or other violent crimes can count on seeing people who have experienced at least one traumatic event in their lifetimes.
But [...]

National Domestic Violence Hotline

National Domestic Violence Hotline

April 26, 2016 by Ruth D. Reichard

What is 20 years old, confidential, never stops working, and saves countless lives? The National Domestic Violence Hotline
Established as part of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (Pub. L. 103-322), the Hotline originated from the Violence Against Women Act, which authorized the Secretary of Health and Human Services to award a [...]

NICS: National Instant Background Check System

NICS: National Instant Background Check System

February 25, 2016 by Ruth D. Reichard

The Power of the Pen: What happens behind the scenes
Judges wield tremendous power, often literally with a stroke of their pens as they sign their names on orders and findings. When the cases involve family violence, routine decisions—whether to check the “Brady box” on a protection order, or whether to make the domestic violence determination [...]

The Dropout Problem: Part 2

January 25, 2016 by Ruth Reichard

What is behind it and what judges can do about it
In Part 1 of this article in the September/October issue of Court Times, we considered research on the high victim attrition rate in criminal domestic violence cases, as well as some laws that judges can use to help ensure the integrity of the proceedings. In [...]

The Dropout Problem: Part 1

November 20, 2015 by Ruth Reichard

What is behind it & what judges can do about it
A judge presiding over a criminal docket will quickly conclude that family violence cases are different.
In an auto theft case, for example, the victim is usually cooperative: she wants to help the police and prosecutor bring the perpetrator to justice for his crime. But in [...]

Firearms & Protection Orders: Considering Surrender

July 14, 2015 by Ruth Reichard

Ordering respondents to surrender firearms is not always easy for courts—it can mean more work for staff, extra hearings to ensure compliance, and negotiations with local law enforcement about storing the weapons and ammunition. But the power to order surrender of firearms as part of issuing a protection order is a vital means of reducing [...]

Teen dating abuse: What you need to know

Teen dating abuse: What you need to know

The words “teen dating” usually bring to mind awkward silences, shy smiles, and high school proms. But for some adolescents and teens, dating also involves behaviors that the court system would recognize as stalking, battering, or worse.

Research into teen dating violence is ongoing—the National Institute of Justice is currently sponsoring a very large study in [...]

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