Domestic Violence Intervention Court to help deter repeat offenders
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Domestic violence is plaguing our community, according to Iris Domestic Violence Center director Patti Freeman.
“That’s a national statistic, one in three women, one in four men versus one in 13 where COVID is concerned. So, if covid is a pandemic, what label do we put on domestic violence or dating violence when we consider that the numbers are much, much higher,” Freeman said.
A pilot program at the 19th Judicial District Court will try to intervene with some felony cases.
“So the idea is to move from a traditional Criminal Court case management system to a system that focuses directly and especially on this type of conduct,” Judge Don Johnson said.
He added this will help deter repeat offenders.
“To do that because we are able to identify at the beginning of the system, who is a repeat offender and then by processing that with the attention that’s needed. We can begin to understand the defendant better and design interventions that prevent the conduct,” Johnson said.
Freeman works with survivors of domestic violence and believes this will bring hope to survivors.
“Giving them the ability to see the judge and have those wrap-around services that are going to be incorporated into that court is going to be extraordinary,” Freeman said.
The domestic violence intervention court will work with social services like Iris.
They hope to process cases more efficiently.
“Resolutions that would get us to solve the dilemma of the crime so we can achieve more effective outcomes,” Johnson said.
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