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Home Courts By County El Paso County Domestic Violence
Home Courts By County El Paso County Domestic Violence
Domestic Violence
(DV) Court

History and Background

The Fourth Judicial District Domestic Violence Court (DV Court) began in August of 2012. The court was created to increase accountability, support and monitoring of felony and misdemeanor domestic violence offenders who have been unsuccessful during traditional supervised probation programs, or are repeat offenders with multiple domestic violence cases. Utilizing many components of the Problem Solving Court model, DV Court is an alternative to incarceration. The DV Court focuses on creating opportunities for personal insight, behavioral change and non-violent living while encouraging victim input and participation in the court process and increasing victim safety. Through a system of individualized incentives and consequences, offenders are supported as they progress toward their goals while being held accountable for their conduct along the way.

The DV Court currently receives no funding. The DV Court Team consists of the judge, a probation officer, a DV treatment provider, a prosecutor, a public defender, a confidential victim advocate, a CASA representative and a law enforcement officer. Other members attend on a case by case basis (e.g. Department f Human Service caseworker, private defense attorney, civil attorney, mental health professional, etc.) All participants have committed to participating on the team without additional compensation.

Overview of current presiding Judge

Judge Douglas Miles

The DV Court was developed under the leadership of the presiding judge, Douglas J. Miles, who has over 25 years of experience in the domestic violence field. As a former domestic violence prosecutor, Judge Miles was instrumental in training and program development at the local, state and national levels. He was one of the founding members of the Domestic Violence Enhanced Response Team (DVERT) in Colorado Springs, CO. This collaborative, multi-agency response to high lethal domestic violence offenses became a national model. Judge Miles also organized the Domestic Violence Fast Track Court, a procedure designed to bring DV offenders before a judge within 24 hours of arrest. He also created the Victim Video Link system which allowed DV victims to view court proceedings from the safety of a secured location via closed circuit television. As the Attorney Advisor for the Western Region at Aequitas: The Prosecutors’ Resource on Violence Against Women, Judge Miles provided training and technical assistance to prosecutors across the country. He has lectured and written on the topic of domestic violence for many years and he now presents on DV issues from a judicial perspective.

Mission and End Goal of the Domestic Violence (DV) Court

The mission of the DV Court is to effect long term behavioral and attitudinal change in DV perpetrators which will result in a cessation of intimate partner violence and an improvement in the quality of their intimate relationships.

The goal of the DV Court is to provide support, incentives and consequences for domestic violence offenders which increase the offender’s opportunities to successfully complete state-mandated treatment and other conditions of probation while protecting the safety and confidentiality of victims, and reducing negative collateral consequences to victims. As offenders demonstrate compliance with terms of DV Court probation they progress through a series of phases which decrease in intensity as they move toward graduation. Initially, court monitoring is frequent (weekly), but as offenders show success their court appearances are reduced.

Benefits to the Public

Successful completion of the DV Court program benefits not only the offender, but improves the quality of life for the victim and any children in the home of the offender, (many couples remain in an intimate relationship or continue contact regarding the children.) Successful completion of the DV Court program has the potential to break the multi-generational cycle of domestic violence.

Program eligibility – qualifiers and disqualifiers

Target population:

DV Court defendants will include offenders convicted of felony or misdemeanor domestic violence crimes who are currently sentenced to supervised probation. The focus will be on those defendants who are not compliant with their terms of probation and are at risk of revocation. DV Court will also include domestic violence offenders whose cases include a negotiated disposition to include DV Court.

Eligibility criteria include:

  • High risk according to LSI
  • Previous treatment/supervision failure (i.e. revocation) or negotiated disposition
  • Defendant willing to actively participate in treatment
  • Defendant voluntarily decides to participate in DV Court

Exclusion criteria will include:

  • Diagnosed serious mental illness
  • Elevated psychopathic sub-score on IORNS  or diagnosed psychopath
  • Multiple pending DV and non-DV charges
  • Contemplating interstate transfer
  • Victim Opposition

Risk Assessment and Evaluation Tools

  • IORNS – to be completed by the evaluator
  • Domestic Violence Risk Needs Assessment (DVRNA) – to be completed by evaluator
  • Spousal Assault Risk Assessment (SARA) - to be completed by evaluator
  • HB 1873 assessments (LSI, AUS, SSI) -  to be completed by Probation Officer
  • Domestic Violence Screening Instrument (DVSI) - to be completed by Probation Officer

Program requirements

Contemplative Phase

  • Length: 1 – 3 Months
  • Court Appearance: 1 x week

Treatment Phase

  • Length: 7 – 9 Months
  • Court Appearance: 2 x month

Maintenance Phase

  • Length: 2 – 5 Months
  • Court Appearance: 1 x month

Peer Mentoring Phase

  •  Length: 2 – 6 Months
  • No regular scheduled court appearances
  • Continue periodic probation appointments

Referral Process – how participants get into the program

Potential participants are referred for screening by probation officers, public defenders, prosecutors, private defense counsel or judges. The DV Court Team reviews all relevant information during a screening session. Once determined to be eligible for the DV Court, individuals are required to observe a DV Court session; requirements of the program are explained by the judge and any questions are answered. Potential participants also meet with the DV Court probation officer who explains the requirements of the DV Court contract, Ex Parte Waiver and other required documents. Once sentenced, the offender begins the program in Phase 1.

Contact(s) for questions and information

The Honorable Douglas J. Miles

El Paso County Court Judge, Division K

270 S. Tejon St.

Colorado Springs, CO 80903

(719) 452-5197

douglas.miles@judicial.state.co.us

 

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