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Nevada justice proposes domestic violence court program

In 2008, 38 women were killed at the hands of a husband, boyfriend, or other man with whom they had a relationship of some kind. While even one such death is too many, the fact that the number of women killed in Nevada was more than two times the national average of domestic violence-related fatalities has prompted the proposal of a special domestic violence court. Such a program would focus on effectively treating those who commit relationship violence, with a goal of minimizing repeat offenses.

According to Justice Melissa Saragosa, who proposed the domestic violence court, the program will make the court process easier for offenders. While this may seem unfair and counterproductive, she says the end result will be positive for all involved. “They don’t get lost in the system or confused,” she said, “and if they can get through the system quicker, they’re successful, the case is closed, the court system is better for it and our community is better for it.”

The program would be two-pronged. First, the court will seek offenders who have multiple domestic violence cases open at one time. The judge will examine all of the facts and circumstances surrounding each case and compile them to create the best sentence or treatment plan for the offender. Second, the offender will receive all information pertinent to his case and his sentence in writing, giving him specific guidance on where and how he can complete his sentence and other court-ordered requirements.

Saragosa says that increased access and assistance will help to minimize frustration and leads the offender down a positive path, reducing the chances that he will offend again in the future.

Source: KLAS-TV 8 News Now, “Court Targets Domestic Violence Offenders,” Sharie Harvin, 21 June 2011

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