Wethersfield, CT - Recognizing that strong collaboration must exist between prosecutors and victim advocates, the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CCADV) and the Connecticut Division of Criminal Justice recently initiated a strategic partnership aimed at ensuring a comprehensive response to domestic violence.
As part of that effort, the two organizations will welcome Michelle Kaminsky, author and Bureau Chief, Domestic Violence Bureau, Kings County, NY District Attorney's Office, to cross-train prosecutors and advocates on Thursday, January 24th at the Coalition's administrative offices in Wethersfield. Kaminsky will utilize her twenty years of experience in addressing numerous legal dilemmas to offer prosecutorial strategies for successful convictions. Most importantly, Kaminsky will discuss how meaningful partnerships between advocates and prosecutors can lead to stronger outcomes for victims.
State domestic violence resource prosecutors and advocates have already initiated quarterly roundtables intended to enhance communication and teamwork as well as identify best practices to improve outcomes for victims and increase offender accountability. Joint recommendations for stronger policies will be submitted to Chief State's Attorney Kevin T. Kane later this spring.
"The partnership between CCADV and the Chief State's Attorney is critical to our work to improve Connecticut's response to domestic violence," said Karen Jarmoc, Executive Director, CCADV. "Our work together will increase the capacity of prosecutors to effectively handle domestic violence cases while balancing victim safety and offender accountability, as well as enhance the ability of our advocates to successfully advocate for victims in the court system."
For the first time, the Division of Criminal Justice through the State's Attorneys has designated a domestic violence prosecutor in each judicial district. Incidents of family violence arrests currently exceed 43,000 annually which make up more than one-third of all cases on Connecticut's criminal court system. The Connecticut Domestic Violence Fatality Review Committee reports that over the past decade, Connecticut has averaged 16 domestic violence homicides annually.
"The Division of Criminal Justice welcomes the opportunity to join forces with the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Collaboration between agencies at all levels of government and the private sector is critical if we are to continue to meet the demands placed on the criminal justice system with the limited resources available," said Chief State's Attorney Kane.
Kaminsky's book, Reflections of a Domestic Violence Prosecutor: Suggestions for Reform, offers common-sense changes for the criminal justice system that will improve outcomes for victims. The book is available at www.createspace.com.