Improving Judicial System Responses
to Domestic Violence
The Promises and Risks of Integrated Case
Management and Technology Solutions
By virtue of their wide-ranging jurisdiction over individuals and families, courts play a pivotal role in addressing domestic violence in our communities. This chapter explores this role and the various approaches courts are using to provide more comprehensive and effective remedies to domestic violence victims and their children. The chapter focuses on two key areas targeted by court initiatives: (1) case management principles and practices that promote greater safety, freedom, and confidence in the system for domestic violence survivors; and (2) technological applications that hold promise for improving both justice system practice and the well-being of the individuals the systems are designed to serve. The discussion includes descriptions of a few examples of these case management methods and technology applications.
Imagine this simple scenario. Marsha calls 911 because her husband, Jack, has just punched her in the mouth and is shouting profanities at her while their 3-year old son, Jack Jr., is cowering behind the couch in terror and tears. Two police officers arrive at the home, arrest Jack, and take him to the county jail. They advise Marsha to go to the courthouse the following morning to file a petition for a protection order. Marsha takes their advice. After filling out several forms and waiting for 4 hours, she obtains a tempo-