Studies Show Family Justice Centers in Rural Communities Lead to Decrease in Partner-Related Crimes

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Photo by Sydney Sims on Unsplash

By Ozzy Hernandez

NEW YORK, NY – The Institute for Innovation in Prosecution (IIP) at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan released a report detailing the long-term benefits of establishing Family Justice Centers in smaller and rural cities.

It is the second study published by the IIP’s Beyond Big Cities Initiative (BBCI) on reforming the criminal justice system when prosecuting people for “intimate partner violence,” or IPV.

The report, “Guidelines for Prosecuting Intimate Partner Violence in Smaller Jurisdiction,” uses bigger jurisdictions such as Thurston County, WA, as blueprints for prosecutors interested in creating Family Justice Centers to combat IPV.

In its mission statement toward criminal reform, the IIP “provides a collaborative national platform that brings together prosecutors, policy experts, and the communities they serve to promote data-driven strategies” and works with those “who are committed to a criminal justice system rooted in fairness and equity.”

Roughly 10 million Americans endure violence from their loved ones each year, but the problem is particularly dire in smaller jurisdictions where a dearth of legal and social services perpetuates the cycle of violence between families, according to the report that says that’s why creating a Family Justice Center is crucial to reducing IPV and its impact on families, and preventing those convicted from ever reoffending.

“We hope it inspires prosecutors across the country to reimagine IPV prosecution and leads to a sharp decrease in this form of violence.” said Alissa Marque Heydari, Deputy Director of the IIP.

Family Justice Centers, said IIP, is an “unparalleled resource” to victims, one that could alleviate prosecution’s case loads as well as reducing recidivism, which can benefit the community as whole.

The first publication from the Beyond Big Cities Initiative, “Restorative Justice: A Best Practice Guide for Prosecutors in Smaller Jurisdictions,” was released in January.

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About The Author

Ozzy is a fifth year college student double majoring in Political Science and Performing Arts at CSU Channel Islands. He plans on attending law school and become an attorney. On his free time, he loves to indulge in the theater and embark on outdoor adventures

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