Continuing Judicial Skills in Domestic Violence Cases Program
Program Overview & Workshop Description
The Continuing Judicial Skills in Domestic Violence Cases (CJS) Program is specifically designed for judges who have successfully completed the Enhancing Judicial Skills in Domestic Violence Cases Workshop (EJS). The CJS Program addresses judges’ specific assignments at a more intensive level and introduces new topics of special interest. The CJS Program offers a choice among several 1-day special topic courses and several 1.5-day court assignment courses. The Program begins Thursday at 8:30 a.m. and concludes on Saturday at noon.
Who should attend:
All state and tribal court judges and judicial officers (commissioners, referees, etc.) nationwide who have successfully completed the EJS are eligible to attend the workshops, but priority will be given to judges from jurisdictions currently receiving one of the following OVW Grants: (1) Grants to Encourage Arrest, (2) STOP Violence Against Indian Women Grants, or (3) Rural Domestic Violence and Child Victimization Enforcement Grant; (4) Court Training and Improvement Program. Program Priority is also given to OVW funded agencies jurisdictions that send more than one judge. The program is offered free of charge. Local OVW funded agencies and some courts might cover their judges’ travel and per diem costs. All participants are responsible for their own travel and per diem costs.
Special Topic Courses
The CJS Special Topic Courses are designed as seminars of 15 - 20 judges to address specific challenges in new or emerging complex topics facing the courts. Special topic courses including Immigration and Trafficking, Effective Batterer Accountability and Supervised Visitation and Exchange.
Immigration & Trafficking Course:
Participants in the Immigration and Trafficking course will be better able to,
- Identify “red flags” in cases that may have immigration or status consequences;
- Assess the immigration implications of civil protection orders and criminal convictions;
- Enhance access to justice for immigrant victims of domestic violence and trafficking;
- Craft civil dispositions that enhance victim safety and autonomy while considering collateral consequences; and
- Document facts in state court proceedings to preserve the victim’s immigration remedies.
Effective Batterer Accountability Course:
Participants in the Effective Batterer Accountability course will be better able to,
- Create a courtroom culture that helps victims feel safe and affirms the judge as the established authority;
- Tailor interventions and court orders to increase safety and reduce recidivism;
- In light of the current research, examine the appropriateness and effectiveness of different BIP models and other forms of intervention and oversight;
- Establish BIP standards; and
- Develop effective system coordination and program oversight mechanisms in collaboration with the community.
Supervised Visitation & Exchange:
Participants in the Supervised Visitation and Exchange course will be better able to,
- Identify risks to adult/child victims of domestic violence in the context of custodial access;
- Determine whether, when, and how supervised visitation or exchange should be ordered, modified, terminated, and/or reviewed;
- Interact effectively and ethically with supervised visitation and exchange programs and other service providers in managing individual access cases; and
- Provide leadership in their communities to create and/or enhance supervised visitation and exchange services.
Court Assignment Courses
The Court Assignment Courses are designed as highly interactive small group seminars of fifteen to twenty participants. These courses are focused exclusively on judges who are assigned to one court duty assignment such as Family, Criminal or Civil Protection Order dockets.
Family–Participants will be better able to:
- Evaluate whether domestic violence cases are appropriate for ADR processes in family courts, and, if so, develop safeguards to use in those cases;
- Promote safety and accountability in all family court-related interventions, such as custody evaluations and assignment of parenting coordinators, GALs, parenting education, supervised visitation, and arbitration;
- Craft effective parenting orders to match unique family circumstances and needs; and
- Determine the appropriate role of the family court to monitor and review custody/parenting decisions.
Civil (Protection Order)–Participants will be better able to:
- Use risk and danger assessment tools when rendering decisions in civil protection order cases;
- Apply an understanding of domestic violence when issuing economic relief on behalf of victims and their children;
- Manage protection order cases involving pro se litigants and recognize the ability to promote a pro se litigant’s access to justice within the ethical constraints of a judge; and
- Identify the wide range of enforcement mechanisms available to ensure compliance with protection orders, including civil and criminal contempt proceedings.
Criminal Court Assignment Course.
- Set bail, establish conditions of release, and structure sentences that reduce risk, promote victim safety and autonomy, and minimize economic deprivation, while accounting for collateral consequences in domestic violence cases;
- Conduct ongoing, relevant case evaluation, including dangerousness assessments, throughout a criminal case;
- Rule correctly on pretrial motions to exclude evidence after Crawford and its progeny;
- Manage the legal implications of victim recantation;
- Develop and implement appropriate procedures to obtain information necessary for valid judicial decision-making;
- Implement effective procedures for handling firearms issues at all stages of a case; and
- Create effective on-going structures for maximizing compliance with post-disposition controls.
*NJIDV faculty Judge Ramona Gonzalez. Image used with permission of LaCrosse Tribune.