Domestic Abuse Criminal Justice System Improvement

Photos attached to OFPs and no-contact orders

OFPs and no-contact orders must be included in the criminal justice data communications network. (The data network enables criminal justice agencies to share criminal justice information.) In addition, a no-contact order must be accompanied by an offender’s photograph to aid in the enforcement of the order. Minn. Stat. § 299C.46.

Centralized OFP tracking system study

The criminal and juvenile justice information policy group was directed to study and make recommendations to the legislature regarding the development of a centralized tracking system for domestic abuse OFPs. The statewide OFP database was implemented in 2000. Minn. Stat. § 299C.65.

Model arrest policies

Each law enforcement agency must develop, adopt, and implement a written policy regarding arrest procedures for domestic abuse incidents. These policies must be developed through consultation with domestic abuse advocates, community organizations, and other law enforcement agencies with expertise in the recognition and handling of domestic abuse incidents. The policies must (1) discourage dual arrests; (2) include consideration of whether one of the parties acted in self-defense; and (3) provide guidance to officers concerning instances in which officers should remain at the scene of a domestic abuse incident until the likelihood of further imminent violence has been eliminated.

The law also requires designated agencies to develop a written model policy regarding arrest procedures for domestic abuse incidents for use by local law enforcement agencies. Law enforcement agencies are allowed to adopt the model policy in lieu of developing their own policies. Minn. Stat. § 629.342.

Domestic abuse prosecution plans

Each county and city attorney must develop and implement a written plan to expedite and improve the efficiency and just disposition of domestic abuse cases. The plan is required to state goals and contain policies and procedures to address: (1) early contact between the prosecutor and the victim; (2) coordination of the prosecutor’s efforts with those of the domestic abuse or victim advocate and facilitation of the early advocacy services to the victim; (3) procedures to encourage the prosecution of all domestic abuse cases; (4) methods to identify, gather, and preserve evidence in addition to the victim’s in-court testimony; and (5) procedures for annual review of the plan. Minn. Stat. § 611A.0311.

Commissioner of Corrections; victim services information. The Commissioner of Corrections, in cooperation with the executive director of the Crime Victims Reparations Board, must develop a plan to provide victims with information concerning victim services in the geographic area where the crime occurred. This information must include information on domestic violence shelters and programs. The initial notice of crime victims rights must be distributed by a peace officer to each victim at the time of initial contact with the victim. Minn. Stat. § 611A.02.

Peace officer standards and training (POST) board; courses on domestic violence cases. In 2007, the legislature directed the POST board to revise and update training courses related to no-contact orders in domestic violence cases. The training must include instruction on how to conduct risk assessments of the escalating factors of lethality in domestic violence cases. The board is required to consult with a statewide domestic violence organization in developing courses.

This and any related posts have been adopted from the Minnesota House of Representatives Research Department’s Information Brief, Domestic Abuse Laws in Minnesota – An Overview, written by legislative analyst Judith Zollar.

This post is also part of a series of posts on Domestic Abuse in Minnesota.

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