Domestic violence policies at the state and local level directly impact how much justice victims get at court, when they need it most.
Court Watch works at the policy level to set standards and processes that protect victim rights and ensure fair treatment. For instance, Court Watch collects data on whether judges are holding respondents for 15 minutes after protective order hearings so that victims have time to get safely to their transportation without assault, harassment or fear. But at the same time, we’re working with judicial leadership locally and at the state Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) to set a standard policy that all respondents will be held 15 minutes. We also successfully convinced Maryland’s AOC to add “staggered exits” to regular bailiff trainings across the state.