Unchecked witness intimidation can deter domestic violence victims and witnesses from calling for help, accessing the justice system, and participating in court processes. To learn how and when intimidation occurred in their cases, a multi-disciplinary team in Duluth, MN, observed 911 call takers and dispatchers, court proceedings, court hallway activity, and offender groups; conducted victim focus groups; interviewed criminal justice practitioners; reviewed prosecution files; and reviewed historical reports compiled by the practitioners who focus on high risk cases. Duluth has a history of periodically conducting safety and accountability audits using a process developed by Praxis International to identify and investigate systemic gaps that affect victim safety and offender accountability. Under an initiative led by AEquitas, in partnership with the Battered Women's Justice Project, Duluth used the audit process once again to investigate this question: At what points in justice system intervention and case processing does witness intimidation arise in Duluth/St. Louis County, and how do we as a system provide witness safety in those instances?
Federal Sponsor Agency: OVW
Provider: Battered Women's Justice Project
Publication Date: 2015