Prosecutor Domestic Violence Services

In 1995, former Prosecutor David Skeen identified the lack of long term services to victims of domestic violence as a serious deficiency in the county's criminal justice system. A related problem was the need to provide specialized prosecution for this area of crime for adult and juvenile courts to focus additional resources on certain violent cases classified as a:

Process of Services

Using a small amount of money available from the Crime Victim's Fund, the Prosecutor's Office contracted with the Domestic Violence-Sexual Assault Program of Jefferson County counsel all victims of domestic violence at the time the offender is arraigned in District Court. This counseling is intended to discuss options for providing assistance to the victim, and to create a plan for meeting the long-term needs of the victim and any children of the parties.

Additional domestic violence services are provided by the District Court Probation Department staff who interviews an alleged domestic violence offender after arrest, but prior to arraignment in court, to provide the arraignment judge and prosecutor with a "Bail Study." By setting bail conditions based on a thorough study of the defendant's history, patterns of violence and chemical dependency, the bail study is one tool used toward the goal that no further harm will occur to the victim, any children of the parties, or any witness.

Both programs have been successful in reducing repeat incidents of violence during the pendency of a case.

Office's Priority

The Prosecutor's Office considers the charging and aggressive prosecution of those adult and juvenile offenders in our community who commit sexually motivated or domestic violence criminal acts to be one of the most important criminal justice priorities in the office. This includes any type of criminal offense involving sexual or domestic violence assault against an adult or child.