Domestic Violence Sanctions/ Intervention Initiative
Submitted by Valerie Collins, Branch Chief,
CSOSA Community Supervision Services
(CSOSA Newslink, Summer 2005)
CSOSA has entered into a partnership with the Metropolitan Police Department to address the issue of domestic violence in our community. Domestic Violence is a crime that has serious effects on families and intimate relationships. Offenders are placed on supervision for domestic violence offenses such as Simple Assault, Threats, Destruction of Property and Stalking. Domestic violence has been identified as a serious problem with our offender population. Rearrest for domestic violence occurs in all the branches at a disproportionate rate to other offenses. In an effort to address this issue, the Domestic Violence Sanctions/Intervention Initiative was implemented.
The idea for the Domestic Violence Sanctions/ Intervention Initiative began after Commander Robin Hoey, of the Metropolitan Police Department Sixth District, reported at several of his weekly Information Sharing Meetings that there had been an increase in officers responding to domestic violence calls. CSOSA identified a target group of offenders from Branch IIB (General Supervision) and Branch IV (Domestic Violence) who had a rearrest within the past 90 days for domestic violence, were non-compliant with domestic violence or other violence reduction treatment or had other technical violations and needed intervention for assaultive/aggressive behavior to participate in the initiative.
On June 29, 2005, forty offenders were ordered to report for the first Sanctions/Interventions Meeting. The meeting was held at the Sixth District Station. The focus was to educate offenders about the Mandatory Arrest Law and to emphasize to them that there is zero tolerance for domestic violence in the District of Columbia. During the meeting they were provided with education on what domestic violence is. The issue of power and control in relationships, and the impact of the many forms of abuse other than physical violence were discussed. Interventions were also presented to provide the offender with tactics that can be used to change abusive behavior (identifying cues to violence and developing a safety plan). The meeting room was filled to capacity, offenders having taken seriously the instruction to report to the mandatory meeting.
The presentations were informative and dynamic. Presenters included Commander Hoey and Officer Wells of the Sixth District; United States Attorney Kenneth Wainstein and Kelly Higashi, Chief of the USAO Sex Offense Domestic Violence Section, CSOSA Director Paul Quander, and Branch Chiefs Valerie Collins and John Milam. SCSOs Regina Scruggs and John-Patrick Ifedi, and CSOs Mark Williams and Robert Williams also facilitated part of the meeting. Community Relations Specialist Lawrence Jordan provided assistance with the implementation of the Initiative. Several CSOs from Branch IIB and Branch IV were also present, further demonstrating the importance of the initiative to the offenders.
This was an effective sanction and intervention with Branch IIB and Branch IV in partnership with MPD and the U.S. Attorney's Office. The Initiative will be implemented within all the police districts. The next Domestic Violence Sanctions/Intervention Meeting will be held in collaboration with the Fourth District. It is scheduled for Thursday, August 4, 2005 from 6:30 to 8:00 pm, at the Fourth District Police Station, 6001 Georgia Avenue, NW.
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and Public Affairs
Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency
633 Indiana Avenue, NW Suite 1265
Washington, DC 20004