OCTOBER 1, 1990
OFFICE OF THE PROSECUTING ATTORNEY
MARION COUNTY, INDIANA
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PROTOCOL




INTRODUCTION
The Marion County Prosecutor's Office has a domestic violence unit for the prosecution of all misdemeanors and certain Class D felonies involving domestic violence.

The unit consists of two full-time deputy prosecutors, three part-time deputy prosecutors, two paralegal/investigators, victim advocates, victim assistance volunteers, and a diversion coordinator and her assistant. This unit was created in recognition of the fact that domestic violence is criminal conduct and that prosecutors have the same responsibility to respond to these cases as they do to other violent crimes.

Victims often turn to the criminal justice system for help as a last resort, but it can be an effective means of stopping violence between family members. The Marion County Prosecutor's Office has a strong interest in ending family abuse, since it can escalate in severity and frequency and often leads to homicide.

The successful prosecution of domestic violence, as with any crime where the victim is related to the offender, requires specialized techniques designed to overcome the victim's fear of the criminal justice system and to encourage cooperation with the prosecution effort.


DEFINITION
"Domestic violence" includes any harmful physical contact, along with property damage offenses, threats, and violations of certain court orders, that occurs between current or former spouses, cohabitants, boyfriends or girlfriends, adult family members, separated or divorced couples, and other individuals who relationship, including homosexual couples. The Unit also prosecutes cases involving violence perpetrated by parents or by parents' lovers/intimates upon children of one of the adults, and violence perpetrated upon parents by adult (over age 18) children. The close relationships involved in these cases present special difficulties that are unique to the criminal justice system.

The Marion County Prosecutor's Office Domestic Violence Unit treats these cases as crimes against the States and prosecutes them to the fullest extent in order to avoid a continuation and escalation of the violence.


LAWS
The statutes most often encountered by those working is this area are summarized below.
1. Battery (I.C. 35-42-2-1): a class B misdemeanor if there no bodily injury (as defined in I.C. 35-41-1-4); a class A misdemeanor if there is bodily injury; a class D felony if there is bodily injury and if the abuser has previously been convicted of battery against the same victim, or if the victim is under 13 years of age, or if the battery is sexual in nature.

2. Criminal Recklessness (I.C. 35-42-2-2): a class B misdemeanor; a class A misdemeanor if the conduct involved includes the use of a motor vehicle; a class D felony if the conduct involved includes the use of a deadly weapon.

3. Criminal Mischief (I.C. 35-43--1-2): a class B misdemeanor if the monetary loss is less than $250; a class A misdemeanor if the loss is between $250 and $2,500; a class D felony if the loss is over $2,500.

4. Criminal Trespass (I.C. 35-43-2-2): a class A misdemeanor.

5. Withholding of Prosecution (I.C. 33-14-1-7): the enabling statue for diversion programs; NOTE that only defendants charged with misdemeanors are eligible for diversion.

6. Arrest (I.C. 35-33-1-1): authorizes law enforcement officers to arrest for battery with injury and invasion of privacy based upon probable cause, even when the crime is not committed in their presence.


7. BAIL (I.C. 35-46-1-15): makes it a class B misdemeanor to violate: a restraining order issued during a divorce proceeding; a protective order; an order issued as part of C.H.I.N.S. or delinquency proceedings (I.C. 31-6-4-15.4, 31-6-4-15.5, & 31-6-7-14); or, a criminal court order to stay away form someone issued as a condition of pre-trial release, as part of a diversion agreement, or as a condition of probation. In addition to the offenses listed above, domestic violence workers may also encounter domestic violence through arrests for crimes such as Disorderly Conduct (I.C. 35-45-1-3), Public Intoxication (I.C. 7.1-5-1-3-), Resisting Law Enforcement (I.C. 35-44-3-3), etc.


Filing cases/dismissing charges
It is the policy of the Marion County Prosecutor's Office to file charges in cases of domestic violence if the evidence presented satisfies the elements of a crime. Requests by the victim to not file charges are not appropriate considerations for filing cases. The decision to file and prosecute a criminal case is the responsibility of the prosecutor, not of a victim. In fact, the available data show that victims are actually safer from repeat violence if they call the police after an incident, and safer still if they participate in the filing of criminal charges. Victims do not have the authority, the legal knowledge, or the ethical responsibility to make a filing decision; only a deputy prosecutor can decide whether to file charges. Whenever a case is initiated by a citizen complaint intake instead of an outright arrest made by a law enforcement officer at the scene, the deputy prosecutor who screens the case shall request a warrant for the defendant's arrest unless the victim has a reason to believe she would be safer if a summons was issued. If the facts constitute an immediate threat to a victim's safety, the intake paralegal shall walk a warrant through Municipal Court 16, the domestic violence court.

For all cases entering into the system as police arrests made at the scene of a domestic disturbance, dismissal of charges based on victim non-cooperation is not an acceptable practice unless substantial, convincing evidence is presented creating some doubt as to validity of the charges. For those cases which enter into the system as citizen complaints intakes, the cases to "drop charges"--but that they should do everything possible to try and discourage the victims from actually dropping. Therefore, the following policy is adopted: for citizen complaint intake cases which meet the standards outlined below, staff will inform victims that, while the office normally has a no-drop policy, an exception may be made in her case, and that if she should wish to drop at some point, she should contact either her victim advocate, prosecutor, or paralegal. Victims will not be allowed to drop if the defendant: has previously been convicted of felonious violence or abuse (including attempts of these crimes), such as homicide, robbery, rape, child molest, burglary resulting in injury, arson, criminal recklessness, battery, confinement, kidnapping, etc.; has previously been convicted or had a warning letter sent or has a pending case for an act of violence against the same victim as in the new case; is on probation and is subject to violation for a news offense; or, be arrested immediately and prosecuted to the maximum extent. No case will be dismissed until the defendant has had his or her initial hearing, with the processing.

Once a victim informs someone that she wishes to drop charges, a victim advocate will e assigned automatically, and that advocate shall be responsible for informing the victim of the fact that she will endure a 41% likelihood of repeat violence (vs. 7% if she does not drop) if she goes ahead and drops charges; the advocate will also suggest to the victim that she view a videotape (selected by the advocate and shown at the Prosecutor's Office) about domestic violence, and attend at least one support group meeting at the Prosecutor's Office, before she signs the drop form. Finally, if the victim still perseveres in her desire to drop charges she will have to sign the drop form, which will then be presented in court at the case's next court date; at that point, the judge will take the case under advisement for 90 days. If there has been no violence in the 90 day period, and if the victim still wishes to drop, then and only then will the State file a motion to dismiss the charges. The charges will be subject to refiling during the statute of limitation for the incident in question.

This policy recognizes that we, as workers in the criminal justice system, cannot presume to know what is best for a particular victim. The policy is not meant to be coercive in nature; we must assume that individual victims ultimately know what is best for them in their own situations. A victim advocate or victim assistance volunteer will always be available to consult with reluctant victims to address their fears and concerns regarding prosecution. Because of the relationship between domestic violence offenders and their victims, the prosecution must give special consideration to the very real likelihood of witness intimidation on the part of the defendant. Early and consistent contact with the victim, with referrals to appropriate social service agencies, is crucial to protect both the State's case and the victim herself.


DOMESTIC VIOLENCE COURT
The court into which all misdemeanor and most class D felony cases involving family violence are slated is Municipal Court 16.


NO-CONTACT ORDERS
Courts have the authority to order defendants to have no-contact (whether in person, in writing, over the telephone, or through a third party) with State's witnesses as conditions of pre-trial release, diversion, and probation. These orders should be in writing on the appropriate form, and the victims or witnesses must be given a certificate copy of these orders. If State's witnesses allege a violation of the no-contact order, the relevant information needs to be presented in the form of 3 citizen's affidavit for probable cause prepared by the witness(es) or the paralegal/investigator. The deputy 4 prosecutor will then petition the court for a hearing on the defendant's bond, as well as a review for prosecution under the Invasion of Privacy statue (above). The witnesses involved should be subpoenaed to testify at the hearing on the defendant's bond. If the defendant is on probation at the time of the alleged violation, the witness should be directed to contact the defendant's probation officer, and should also be referred to the citizen complaint desk for possible criminal charges.


VICTIM/WITNESS FAILURES TO APPEAR
If a case has been set for a pre-trial conference and the victim has been subpoenaed (i.e. a copy of the handwritten subpoena is in the file) or otherwise notified of the hearing conversation with the victim informing her or him of the setting' or, the victim was present at the initial hearing or pre-trial conference when the pre-trial conference date was set), the prosecutor should request a brief recess to attempt to reach the victim by telephone. If that does not work, the State should proceed with the pre-trial conference (if possible) or request a short continuance.

If a case is set for trial and the victim has had notice (in the forms mentioned above), and if it is the first trial setting, the prosecutor should again make every attempt possible to contact the victim by telephone and get her or him to court. The prosecutor should also ask the court to determine whether the victim should be found in contempt of court for disobeying his or her subpoena (or direct court order to appear, if applicable). The paralegal will then notify the victim of the status of the case and recommend that he or she surrender to the court as soon as possible. The prosecutor should also ask the judge to question the defendant about the victim's whereabouts. If all else fails, the prosecutor should request one continuance to attempt to locate the victim. If the request for a continuance is denied, the prosecutor should dismiss the case with a "nollo 3" designation. If a civilian witness fails to appear, and if the prosecutor determines that the witness is a material one, the prosecutor should follow the same procedures as for victims who fail to appear. If the civilian witness is not really necessary, the prosecutor should proceed with the case. If the witness is a law enforcement officer, the paralegal will contact the officer's commander to determine his or her whereabouts and availability for court. Of course, the deputy prosecutor in court may also elect to proceed on a case involving a police arrest for battery if the victim does not appear for court; this is a strategic decision.

DIVERSION
Given the volatile nature of domestic violence, the close proximity of the victim to the defendant, and the likelihood that recurring violence will result in serious injury or death, only those domestic defendants described below should be eligible for diversion. In other domestic violence misdemeanor cases, it is deemed more appropriate to proceed formally, with full prosecution. Thereby, counseling as a condition of probation will be available as an option for appropriate convicted defendants. In other words, diversion should only be sued by a deputy prosecutor as a "last resort".

The intent of the diversion program is to deal with the offender's problem, and hopefully to modify his or her behavior. This goal is accomplished by referring defendants to group counseling with programs approved by the diversion coordinator. The diversion coordinator shall be the liaison between the Marion County Prosecutor's Office and the various social service agencies within the community offering treatment/education programs for both victims and offenders, on informal, diversionary, and probationary levels.

The statutory authority for the diversion program can be found at Indiana Code 33-14-1-7.

Domestic violence includes any harmful physical contact (or property damage) that occurs between current or former spouses, cohabitants, boyfriends or girlfriends, and adult family members; see the "Definition" section of this protocol for a more detailed definition. These categories apply whether the parties are of the opposite or same sex.

The prosecutors, where possible, shall review all domestic violence cases to determine the eligibility of defendants for diversion; the assistant to the diversion coordinator shall determine the appropriate agency to which the individual is referred. Deputy prosecutors shall have the discretion to offer diversion to defendants who meet the eligibility requirements outlined below. Intake officers may make written recommendations regarding an offender's suitability for diversion in the "comments to screener" section of the "checklist for interview" sheet included in each citizen complaint file.
A. The crime charged is a misdemeanor Involving domestic violence as defined above, but not involving a victim who is age 16 or under.
B. The offender does not have a serious mental illness.
C. The offender does not have a chronic substance (including alcohol) abuse problem.
D. The offender has no prior convictions involving crimes of violence.
E. The offender has not been diverted for any crime prior to the instant case.
F. The offender has not been diverted for any crime prior to the instant case.
G. The victim was not pregnant at the time of the crime.
H. The victim has no reasonable objections.
I. No previous incidents (or if previous incidents indicate use of limited force, such as pushing or shoving) against the victim in the previous twelve months as evidenced by two or more incident reports, medical records, or victim self-reports (or any combination thereof).
J. There is substantial, convincing evidence creating doubt as to the validity of the charge(s) (but it is clear some crime was committed.)
K. Diversion is the only means available to obtain the cooperation of a victim in a case which would otherwise be dismissed.
L. The victim did not sustain severe injuries, including, but not limited to: broken bones, bone fractures, concussion, loss of consciousness, protracted loss of impairment of function of any bodily member or organ any wounds requiring extensive suturing, serious disfigurement, serious impairment of physical condition, massive bruising, burns, or other abnormal bodily conditions resulting from a traumatic injury.
M. The offender agrees to the conditions of diversion.
N. Police officer involved has no reasonable objections (if applicable.)
O. The victim is 16 years of age or older.

Once a defendant has been determined to be eligible to participate in the diversion program, that fact should be noted (in writing) in the case file.

The deputy prosecutor in court, the defendant, and the defense attorney (if the defendant has counsel) shall complete and execute a form entitled "agreement to withhold prosecution" in triplicate.

The deputy prosecutor shall keep one copy (the pink copy) of the sheet and forward it to the paralegal (who will then forward it to the diversion coordinator's assistant) after 7 making appropriate notations in the case file. The defendant is to receive one copy (the yellow copy) for its file.The court must have the third copy (the white copy) for its file. The State and the defense can agree on extra conditions (and note them on the sheet); e.g., a no-contact order (in that case, the victim and/or relevant witnesses should be given a certified copy of the order). The prosecutor shall also give the defendant an instruction sheet. The case must be continued for six months in order to monitor the defendant's compliance with the conditions of the agreement; however, the court will first set an initial, 60-day compliance date to ensure that the defendant has enrolled in a program. The defendant must be instructed to contact the diversion coordinator's assistant (listed on the accompanying instruction sheet) as soon as possible after the date of the condition of a diversion agreement.

The domestic violence paralegal shall contact the victim and refer her or him to support counseling and arrange for follow-up contact. If there is any new violence or non-compliance by the defendant reported by the victim, the domestic violence paralegal will then forward the information to the appropriate deputy prosecutor.


A. Cost: there is a one-time $75.00 diversion fee (a $50.00 diversion fee and a $25.00 user fee) for all defendants accepted into the program, plus the costs of counseling. However, the fee (for diversion and for the actual classes) is a flat $150.00 for defendants who participate in the 6-week program, which is ONLY to be used in cases in which the victim and the defendant do not have an ongoing relationship, have no children together, and other exceptional cases, to be determined by the individual prosecutor in court. The 26-week groups offered by the counseling agencies charge defendants on a sliding fee scale, based on income. Indigent defendants are accepted by all agencies with verified proof of indigency (or a court determination of same).

B. Successful completion: includes completion of all designated conditions on the diversion form. Please note item number 4 of the agreement: the statute of limitations for misdemeanors is two years. However, if the defendant has successfully completed all of the other conditions of the agreement within the six-month period, the case can be dismissed if the victim has no reasonable objection. Successful completion should be based on an evaluation of a therapist and on information form the victim, and the defendant. The State shall dismiss the charge(s) with a "nollo 5 - defendant completed diversion" notation.

C. Procedure for non-compliance: when anyone receives information that a defendant has failed to comply with any of the conditions of the diversion agreement, the case file (completes with all information on which the determination of non-compliance was based) shall be forwarded to the appropriate deputy prosecutor. In most cases, that person will be either the deputy prosecutor whose signature appears on the State's copy of the diversion form, or the deputy prosecutor/administrator. The deputy prosecutor shall then file a "petition to set aside diversion agreement based on non-compliance and praecipe for trial setting". The paralegal for the court in which the agreement was filed shall obtain the date of the trial setting and ensure that the witnesses are property subpoenaed.


AGENCIES PROVIDING SERVICES TO OFFENDERS
The Prosecutor's Office makes referrals to the following agencies for batterers' groups.
1. The 46th Street Counseling Center, 2019 East 46th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46208, (317) 257-3117 (6-week and long-term counseling).

2. Dr. Greg Hale, Health Associates, 9240 North Meridian Street, Suite 292, Indianapolis, IN 46260, (317) 844-7489 (6-week and long-term counseling).

3. The Broad Ripple Counseling Center, 6208 North College Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46220, (313) 251-9777 (long-term counseling).

4. Fall Creek Counseling, South, 511 East National, Indianapolis, IN 46227, (317) 788-0661 (long-term counseling).

5. The Family Services Association of Indianapolis, 615 North Alabama Street, Indianapolis, IN 46204, (317) 634-6341 (long-term counseling).

6. Midtown Community Mental Health Center, Wishard Memorial Hospital, 1001 West 10th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202, (317) 630-7791 (long-term counseling).

7. The Salvation Army, 540 North Alabama Street, Indianapolis, IN 46204, (317) 637-5551 (long-term counseling).


General Ethical Standards
The first priority is the safety of victims. To accomplish that goal, service providers should have minimum of two years of experience in the area of domestic violence; or, service providers should meet the standards outlined by professional groups such as the I.U. School of Social Work for family counseling organizations. Group treatment is the treatment of choice for these offenders, with a minimum of sixteen weeks of group counseling and/or five weeks of educational/group counseling. If service providers feel that an individual needs additional counseling, the providers should submit a written recommendation to the court. Also, service providers themselves must be violence-free. Finally, service providers should be wiling to maintain open channels of communication with victims, support groups in which the victims are participating, law enforcement agencies, and other social service providers in the domestic violence area.

Agencies shall not accept female clients into batterers' groups; if female clients are referred to the agencies, the agencies should contact the referring agency to learn what type of counseling the referral source envisioned for the client. No woman shall be in a batterers' group; if necessary, the service providers will provide individual counseling for the woman.


II. Programmatic Requirements
All service providers must have a written statement regarding the rights and responsibilities of the client/batterer. Service providers must have a written individual contract with each client specifying: the details of treatment plans, confidentiality rules, the fee agreement, special conditions such as alcohol treatment, a safety plan, guidelines for termination, disclosures which may be sought from victims, and that the contract is not to be violated by either party.

Service providers handling court referrals should be prepared to provide monthly progress reports to the referring agency. For example, if the Probation Department of the Municipal Court System refers a client/defendant to a service provider for counseling as a condition of probation, the service provider should provide monthly progress reports to that individuals probation officer. Service providers must report a client/defendant's failure to make an initial contact or absences to the referring agency on an alert form. Alert forms should be used when: treatment is not progressing well; or, the victim has reported threats of violence, verbal or emotional abuse, or use of weapons on the part of the client. Alerts should be sent to both the referring agency and the client/defendant. The service provider should contact the client/defendant regarding missed appointments. Service providers may contact victims on a routine basis to verify safety. In order to promote research in the area of domestic violence, service providers should collect and maintain client/defendant data through a uniform data collection system.

In the event that a client/defendant does not comply with the contract, the social service provider should report the non-compliance in the form of an alert notice accompanied by a detailed letter in the event of unsuccessful termination. For example, a social service provider should report the non-compliance after a client/defendant has had three unexcused absences, or after a client/defendant has failed to cooperate with treatment according to that provider's own policy. The service provider should always send a written notification of the noncompliance report to the client/defendant.

All fee arrangements should be stated in the client/defendant contact. Further, the contract should specify whether the provider will accept third-party payments. If a client/defendant fails to pay the agency fee, the service provider should report that to the referring agency before the client/defendant's final court appearance and include documentation showing that the client/defendant was advised of his or her failure to pay the fee. If the service provider has made any type of fee payment agreement with the client/defendant, that arrangement should be specified in the final report provided to the court.

The contract should also specify the length of the contract--for example, a minimum of sixteen weeks with a screening session for group counseling, or a minimum of five weeks for education/group counseling.

When a service provider is conducting intake screening and the client/defendant is refused admission, there must be written documentation of the specifics. Every provider should have an evaluation system which specifies the process for determining eligibility. If, after evaluation, a service provider should document the reasons in writing.


All service providers must include education around the following issues:


Provocation
The service provider should state clearly, in writing, that provocation is a choice made by the client/defendant and that it does not exist as a rationale for violence. The service provider should also state unequivocally that each individual is responsible for his or her own behavior.

Cycle of Violence
All service providers should provide education to clients/defendants about the cycle of violence, and should educate clients/defendants about the three phases in order to help offenders recognize the cycle. Further, "time out" should be taught as a tool to stop the violence with an explanation of how and why it is to be used. Finally, all service providers must educate clients/defendants around the issues of power, sexism, racism, and ageism.

Alcohol/Drug Abuse
All service providers should discuss alcohol/drug abuse as it relates to domestic violence. Further, if a service provider does not regularly provide alcohol/drug education, the service provider should always make referrals to appropriate agencies.

Service providers agree that group counseling is the preferable type of treatment. Service providers will only provide individual counseling to clients/defendants when they have also referred those individuals to an educational group on domestic violence.

If an agency must refer a defendant to another agency, the provider should include a written form signed by the client stating that he or she was informed of the referral and the season for it. Service providers should be prepared to monitor client/defendants' participation in secondary referral groups; for example, if clients are referred to A.A. in addition to their batterers' groups, the batterers' groups should monitor the clients' participation in the A.A. groups.

If a client/defendant is an alcoholic, he or she may be terminated from the group if he or she attends the group while under the influence of alcohol. The service provider should also refer the client/defendant to an alcohol treatment program for an assessment and notify the Prosecutor's Office or the Probation Department in writing. The service provider may monitor the client's participation in the alcohol counseling, or it may ask that the Prosecutor's Office or Probation Department monitor the participation. Unless a defendant has to go to inpatient treatment, all defendants should participate in their alcohol treatment at the same time they are going to the batterers groups.


III. Role of Prosecutor's Office as it Relates to Service Providers
The Prosecutor's Office will provide service providers with all pertinent information regarding client/defendants' involvement with the criminal justice system. The Office will 12 act as a liaison between the court and the service providers for the purpose of reporting defendants' participation in batterers' groups. Further, the Office will advises service providers of new arrests and dispositions of those new cases. The Prosecutor's Office will furnish information concerning victims to the service providers for purpose of validating information given to the service providers by defendants; yet, at no time will defendants be given information about the victims.


IV. Discharge Criteria
Defendants are eligible for an administrative discharge if they: move out of state, die, are convicted of a new offense, or if felony charges are filed against them. If a defendant moves out of the state, the service provider should refer that individual back to the court for a final disposition.

Service providers should terminate a defendant from a group with a successful completion notation if a defendant has: completed the counseling; accepted responsibility for the violence; remained violence-free; cooperated openly and worked on his or her personal problems; displayed an understanding of "timeout" and power and control issues' and, has displayed a knowledge of agencies that provide services for batterers. service providers shall give defendants who successfully complete their programs a certificate to bring to court.

Defendants should be discharged by service providers with an "unsuccessful" notation if they have: been abusing alcohol or drugs and that abuse has been interfering with their treatment; made threats of violence which have escalated, and/or threatened victims or themselves with a weapon; failed to pay fees to the service providers and/or the legal system' failed to abide by their contract (e.g. poor attendance, nonparticipation, and nonpayment of fees); and/or convicted of a new offense.


CASE DISPOSITION GUIDELINES
When possible, a guilty plea to the most specific charge is preferable rather than to a lesser "charge which may not adequately represent the nature of the offense. Always allow victims to address the court with their own sentencing recommendations, regardless of the State's recommendation or the plea agreement. Request court-mandated participation in a counseling program for batterers as a condition of probation, and, if appropriate, an evaluation for drug or alcohol abuse and treatment as indicated. Request a no-contact order and restitution as conditions of probation where appropriate. Always request that the defendant be ordered to have no firearms in his or her possession or household while he or she is on probation as a condition of probation. Restitution is appropriate for any financial losses suffered as a result of the crime (such as 13 medical costs, housing, transportation, counseling, and repair or replacement of personal property). Community service work (in increments of 8 hours with a minimum of 24 hours) may be recommended in those cases not involving serious injury. Three-day weeks or week-ends at jail or at a community corrections facility may be recommended in those cases not involving serious injury. An appropriate period of actual jail time should be recommended in cases involving moderate or severe injuries, for defendants who have prior convictions for similar offenses, or when defendants have made death threats.


PROBATION
The Municipal Court Probation Department has established a unit responsible for all cases which involve domestic violence and anger control counseling as a condition of probation. The unit utilizes agencies within the community to provide the counseling services each case requires. Referrals are made on an individual basis, taking into consideration the defendant's record, the victim, the nature of the offense, the proximity to a counseling facility, and any other unique circumstances which may be present. In addition to referring defendants for counseling, the probation officer monitors the defendant's compliance with the conditions of probation, files violation of probation notices with the court, and testifies at court hearings.

The probation officer will file a notice of a violation of probation whenever a victim reports the violation of a no-contact order on a probation case. The victim must be willing to report the specific details of the incident to the probation officer as well as to provide testimony and/or evidence of the violation at the hearing. The victim will be subpoenaed for the violation at probation hearing. Any questions or concerns regarding a probation case should be referred to the Municipal Court of Marion County Probation Department at (317) 236-4252.


CHILD SUPPORT
There is a procedure for the exchange of information between the Marion County Prosecutor's Office Child Support Division regarding defendants' names and addresses, in order to locate those defendants who are also delinquent in child support obligations. The slates of cases involving domestic violence are sent to the Child Support Division on a weekly basis, two weeks in advance. The Child Support Division Locate staff reviews the slates immediately, ascertains whether there are child support cases on the slate, and contacts the victim advocates to inform them of the case names and whether the Child Support Division is requesting that the sheriff arrest the defendant (if there is an open warrant) or serve papers. The Child Support Division staff and the victim advocates will also exchange victims' and 14 defendants' address information. The Child Support Division paralegal will then follow the normal procedures of having the Civil sheriff serve or arrest the defendant/respondent at he scheduled court hearing. Should the procedure break down (e.g., the civil sheriff does not appear at the hearing), the Domestic Violence Unit paralegal will contact the Child Support Division paralegal, who will follow up with the civil sheriff.


SERVICES FOR VICTIMS
In addition to the traditional services available to the victims of domestic violence (counseling, emergency shelter, etc.) the Marion County Prosecutor's Office Domestic Violence Unit has also negotiated several other important services, which are summarized below:

1. The city of Indianapolis Housing Authority and the local office of the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development have agreed to put battered women at the top of waiting lists for public housing residences when vacancies occur, as well as to provide emergency certificates for Section 8 housing to battered women referred from the shelters or from the Marion County Prosecutor's Office Domestic Violence Unit.

2. The two local shelters for battered women and their children will supply a designated victim advocates from the Marion County Prosecutor's Office domestic violence unit with monthly notification of victims in the shelters who have filed criminal charges, as well as written guidelines, policies, and procedures of the facilities and their support groups to aid in appropriate referrals. In turn, a victim advocate will visit the shelters monthly to discuss procedures for filing charges and to inform victims about how offenders are monitored in counseling programs.

3. The Marion County Department of Public Welfare has agreed to accept non-shelter referrals from the Marion County Prosecutor's Office Domestic Violence Unit, and to refer eligible victims to a special unit (funded by Title xx) to ensure more individualized services to those women.

4. The local municipal public transportation company ("Metro" buses) provides the Marion County Prosecutor's Office Domestic Violence Unit with tokens for use by victims of domestic violence for their court-related transportation needs. Additionally, a private cab company (Metro Taxi, Inc.) has contracted with the Marion County Prosecutor's Office to allow for victims to obtain court-related transportation using vouchers.


Juvenile Victims
Whenever a case arises involving a victim under the age of eighteen (18) who is not emancipated, the following procedures must be implemented:

1. A paralegal should immediately make a file, and make sure that a victim advocate is assigned to the victim. The advocate will then follow up with intensive pre-court services, offering them to both the victim and his or her custodial parent or guardian, if practical.

2. If a juvenile victim misses a court appearance to which he or she has been subpoenaed, the deputy prosecutor in court should follow the procedures outlined above under the "Victim/Witness Failure to Appear" section. AND also ask the judge to order the juvenile victim's parent or guardian to produce the juvenile within 72 hours or face contempt proceedings. NOTE that the subpoenas must be directed to the juvenile in care of the parent or guardian.


VICTIM ADVOCATE AND VOLUNTEERS
Victim advocates and victim assistance volunteers are arguably the most important component of the criminal justice system's response to family violence. Regardless of the final disposition of the case, the advocates and volunteers, through consistent, supportive contact, have the opportunity to empower victims and help them find the resources necessary to live lives which are free of violence.

Training--Victim Advocates
The training materials for victim advocates shall include a reading list, definitions, and literature concerning the cycle of violence, the battered woman syndrome, etc. The training materials shall be in the form of a packet, and will include a list encompassing the various training processes (outlines herein); the advocate will place her or his initials next to each item on the list as she or he completes the item, and then the supervisor for the victim advocates shall review the list with the advocates at each peer group meeting. Training will also include role-playing, for the advocates to simulate certain experiences over the phone, in person, and in court. No new advocate will conduct victim/witness interviews unless she or he is supervised by a more experienced (i.e., one who has completed the training regimen) advocate or the supervisor. Victim advocates will also be required to take a tour of Sojourner and the Salvation Army's shelter; they are also required to visit a support group for battered women sponsored either by Breaking Free or the Salvation Army. Further, advocates must ride a 16 Advocates will also be familiar with the questions to ask each victim with which they have contact, the subjects to cover and the information they must obtain from each victim (for example, if a victim is opting to stay in a relationship with the batterer, the advocate shall always ask if the victim has a safety plan -- and discuss the same with the children, if they are present -- for what to do the next time there is a violent incident). Advocates will learn about safety plans and their importance, and also about why it is important to share printed materials with victims regarding the cycle of violence, power and control issues, the battered woman syndrome, etc.. Advocates will also learn about the importance of identification (the "Victim Advocate" pin) and proper courtroom attire and conduct. Advocates are also expected to properly document victim contacts in the files, and to understand why that is important. Advocates will also learn about the purpose of every different court event, and why it is important to encourage victims to attend some of the court events. Advocates will also know how to get victim's input regarding sentencing (or other disposition of the case), and how to read a criminal history. Advocates will learn their duties during a court session.


Volunteer Training
(Mandatory elements)
All volunteers, regardless of the tasks to which they are assigned, must receive the following basic training. The volunteers will receive the same packet of information which the advocates receive, for training purposes, and their training, like the advocates', will include role-playing about in-person and telephone contacts. The volunteers' contact with victims will be limited unless they have been supervised by an experienced victim advocate. Volunteers will also be required to learn the JUSTICE system, and will use it if it is available to them.

It is also mandatory that volunteers sit in and observe at least one citizen complaint intake, and that they familiarize themselves with samples of citizen complaint intake and police arrest files. Further, volunteers will also be addressed by someone from the Child Support Division in order to learn about the paternity establishment and support enforcement processes; and, a deputy prosecutor will address the volunteers in order to give them an orientation about the criminal justice system and how the office (and the Unit) works. Volunteers are also expected to learn how to use the "Rainbow Book" in order to make referrals to other agencies, and to learn about the different social services available to victims of domestic violence.

Of (Please note we are missing page 17) the entire court session which they are covering (they can bring other work to do in the "down time"); they may leave court if approved by the deputy prosecutor covering the session. Advocates must make contact with every victim of domestic violence for which charges have been filed. Further, advocates are expected to be available to aid women who are seeking protective orders, to provide help for them about domestic violence resources available in the community, to provide support in the courtroom, to direct them to the informational videotape about the protective order process, and other services as needed. Advocates are also expected to work with the "contact persons" at the local emergency rooms, shelters, and other social service agencies to which victims of domestic violence and their children are referred.

While they are in court, advocates must perform the following functions: interview victims and witnesses; secure victim/witness attendance (calling absent victims and civilian witnesses and finding transportation if the witnesses/victims have not arrived in court twenty minutes after the session has been scheduled to being); provide support for victims/witnesses who are frightened or confused; make referrals to appropriate agencies after conducting a quick needs assessment for individual victims; developing safety plans for those victims (and their children, if applicable) who are continuing to reside with the batterers; arranging for shelter/transportation for those victims who will need same; helping victims sort through their restitution needs and documentation; being present during defense attorney interviews of victims and civilian witnesses; helping victims understand the various sentencing options and disposition available; obtaining victims' and witnesses' recommendations for sentencing/dispositions for sentencing/disposition of the cases; explaining the procedures concerning the options of diversion, trials, jury trials, plea agreements, etc., as they are applicable to the individual victim's case; and, reviewing the affidavits for probable cause with those victims and civilian witnesses whose cases are going to trial during that session.

When assigned referrals, advocates are to make careful, detailed notes in the file which the prosecutor takes to court(as stated above, keeping a separate advocate file is optional) regarding every form of victim contact that is made in a particular case. Advocates are to follow up on their referrals within 72 hours, and they should always include the "basics" when they are making an initial contact with a victim: safety plans, referrals, determination of safe shelter, options the victim has available to him or her, explaining the cycle of violence and power and control issues, and explaining the battered woman syndrome. Whenever possible, the advocate should follow up the contact with written materials, such as handouts, that can be mailed to the victims. Advocates should always obtain alternate addresses, telephone numbers, and names of contact people to (Please note we are missing page 19) 20 locate the victims; advocates should always discuss the next court date with a victim and get her recommendations and secure transportation, if needed, since so many victims have questions about the upcoming court appearance (everything from bringing children to whether the batterer will go to jail).

Advocates must also organize monthly support groups for victims who are currently using the criminal justice system, and secure a facilitator for those meetings. Further, advocates must organize quarterly "focus group" meetings for victims whose contact with the criminal justice system has ended, in order to learn the victims' reactions to the experience and suggestions for improving the Unit's responsiveness to the problem of domestic violence. Advocates will contact these "alumnae" by letter, and again will secure a facilitator to actually run the meeting while an advocate records (takes notes) the suggestions, impressions, etc.. Advocates are also expected to work with the Indianapolis Police Department Victim Assistance Unit and the Marion County Sheriff's Department Victim Assistance Unit to review all law enforcement reports concerning domestic violence, to locate victims who have not appeared in court, etc.. Advocates are assigned to every case that is set for trial by jury in Court

Advocates must attend domestic violence unit meetings as they are held (usually monthly, unless more frequent meetings are warranted), as well as peer group meetings, which are help bi-weekly unless they are needed more often.


Duties of Volunteers
Mandatory Duties
Volunteers must make all of their concerning victim contacts in the file which the deputy prosecutors take to court; further, they must make the calls to victims and witnesses regarding upcoming court appearances from the files, not the JUSTICE subpoena sheets, and make notes concerning those contacts in the files, not on the subpoena sheets. Volunteers are expected to help make contact with every victim of domestic violence who has a case currently pending in the system.


Optional Duties
Volunteers may attend the peer group and domestic violence unit meetings if those meetings are scheduled during their normal hours.