Court Watch was pleased to testify today in front of the Neshante & Chloe Davis DV Task Force. The task force will make wide-ranging recommendations about reforms needed to prevent domestic violence.
The task force is led by Sen. Anthony Muse and Del. Vanessa Atterbeary and includes representatives from the Governor’s Office of Crime and Crime Prevention, as well as many leaders in the domestic violence prevention community.
Court Watch Executive Director Laurie Duker testified on numerous topics including the need for state funds for safe child exchange and supervised visitation services and the value of seed grants for court watch programs in every county. Court Watch urged that judges be required to complete some level of continuing education on domestic violence during their careers. Duker relayed the wish of many judges for legislation strengthening the civil contempt provisions in protective orders to give judges’ more power to enforce compliance with protective order elements such as attendance at abuser counseling.
Duker also urged the task force to work with the Administrative Office of the Courts to establish regular online access to key data on protective orders and DV prosecution cases. For instance, local and state policymakers would benefit greatly from having regular reports on dismissal and denial rates per county, and shifts over time. Key data also exists on the percentage of final protective orders that include EFM when there are children.