COORDINATED COMMUNITY RESPONSE TEAMS
One successful intervention effort to address domestic violence is becoming more common throughout the nation: a coordinated community response. Coordinated community response brings together not only the professionals that respond to domestic violence, but includes laypersons, community leaders, faith leaders, and others, to address domestic violence in their communities. The purpose of a coordinated community response is to develop a climate within the community where victims are safe and batterers are held accountable. A coordinated community response is not the sole responsibility of the domestic violence service providers, but of the whole community.
Within a coordinated community response is a Domestic Violence Task Force (DVTF). The task force is comprised of the professionals and community members that come together to improve the community’s response to domestic violence. Through the DVTF, formal and informal networks to enhance communication and collaboration are established. The goals of a DVTF generally include facilitating community education, identifying multidisciplinary training, coordinating public awareness and legislative education, identifying gaps in services, and building resources for victims to create a coordinated community response.
A Coordinated Community Response (CCR) Team is often, but not always, a committee of the DVTF, comprised of a specific group of criminal justice professionals. The function of this group is to address changes within the criminal justice system. Generally, a CCR Team is comprised of an assistant district attorney, law enforcement representatives, court personnel, probation and parole personnel, victim service providers, and batterers treatment program providers. The CCR Team develops protocols and procedures that enable agencies to work together. It also reviews cases for professionals from different disciplines an opportunity to talk, resolve problems, and make changes within the system in order to improve the community’s response to domestic violence.
The position of a Coordinated Community Response Specialist is funded through a grant from the United States Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women (OVW). Currently, twenty three (23) communities have established coordinated community response teams and approximately six (6) communities have expressed an intent to develop one.
The Federal Grants Division has offered both introductory and advanced team trainings featuring national trainers.
Listed below are system-changing outcomes reported by several teams as a result of developing a CCR Team:
- Participation of victim advocates in "ride-alongs" with law enforcement.
- Development and implementation of an “on-scene advocate response”.
- Development of Stalking Protocols for law enforcement, 911 and communications, prosecution, advocates, and judicial professionals.
- Development of a handbook for victims of stalking.
- Tracking and monitoring of the perpetrators through the criminal justice system.
- Development of a Domestic Violence Law Enforcement Training Manual.
- Development and implementation strategies to better serve Spanish-speaking victims.
- Development of an information envelop in English and Spanish that law enforcement can provide victims on the scene.
- Development and implementation of law enforcement training complete with live scenarios and a mock trial.
- Launched a website “Silence Hides Violence”.
- Revision and distribution of Strangulation Checklist for law enforcement.
- Creation of a questionnaire for law enforcement to better aid prosecution with evidence-based prosecution.
- Addition of first responders to the teams membership.
- Development of a felony domestic violence court docket.
- Presentation of community awareness programs.
- Development of an Emergency Room Policy.
- Ongoing contact with media to increase public awareness and educate the community.
- Fundraiser to purchase equipment for prosecution.
- Participation of two judges in a CCR Team meeting with an agreement to meet bi-annually to problem solve and discuss gaps in services.
- Developed a calendar, featuring second and third graders’ recipes for a happy family, solicited sponsors, and selling the calendars during Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
- Two teams are selling purple light bulbs for front porches during October to promote Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Coordinated Community Response Specialist can assist communities in developing a coordinated community response to domestic violence. To request technical assistance or to access other services, please contact:
Coordinated Community Response Specialist
Federal Grants Division
Oklahoma District Attorneys Council
405/264-5008 or Sandra.Thompson@dac.state.ok.us
For information on victim services, please visit the District Attorneys Council's Victim Services Division.