Rose Brooks, KCPD and court system teaming up to assist victims of domestic violence

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February 07 2021 05:30 pm

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Rose Brooks is teaming up with law enforcement and the court system to create change, the new plan to help domestic violence victims was launched on Monday.

The plan was developed over the past three years thanks to a grant from the city. Mayor Quinton Lucas says the program is ensuring a better life for people in Kansas City.

“Every entity that can be a part of finding solutions to violence in Kansas City is working it’s level-best to work right now to make sure we can address all those issues,” Lucas said.

“We’ve done a lot of work over the last three years to make sure we’re using research-based best practice, nationally recognized best practice. The agencies here have adopted those to work in Kansas City, and so each agency will now be training their folks and implementing these new regulations and policies and protocols, so they are following nationally recognized best practices and holding offenders accountable and keeping victims safe,” Annie Struby, the Blueprint Coordinator for Rose Brooks said.

Rose Brooks developed the Kansas City Blueprint for Safety. It allows them to work in tandem with KCPD, the court system, the Jackson County Detention Center, and the prosecuting attorney’s office to put new policies in place. 

“We will provide more training to help officers document the abuse for successful prosecution. Going forward we hope these changes will further enhance the police services offered by the Kansas City police department to those experiencing domestic violence,” Major Stacey Graves with KCPD said.

“All that we can do to better give them service, and to make sure that the criminal justice system understands what more we can better do to serve them gently through this process is what we must all do together through collaboration. That’s why I’m really grateful for this process, and I’m really, really hopeful that we will collectively be able to produce a better outcome for these particular survivors,” Prosecuting Attorney, Jean Peters Baker said.

KCPD says now they will ask victims additional risk questions at the scene of a domestic violence crimes in addition to the questions they already ask. They say this will help prosecutors and others understand the severity and context of the violence in their relationship. The information will also go to the judge in the case, and parole and probation officers to ensure a better understanding of the case.

The court will now have access to more information to help make decisions for offenders and keep at-risk victims safer. The information can be used in the court process to help give victims more of a voice in the process.

The Kansas City Municipal Court Probation will have more guidance for how to handle offenders and have better knowledge of ongoing coercive control. They will also be adopting practices for engaging with victims in a way that helps them avoid their offender and retaliation as much as possible.

The Missouri Division of Probation and Parole will be ensuring probation gets more detailed information from earlier in their case process. They will also standardize ways to ensure people on probation are getting treatment and opportunity to change while holding them accountable for violations.

The Jackson County Detention Center will put disciplinary action in place for offenders violating their mail policy by going around any policy for threating harm, violence, or criminal activity. They will enforce disciplinary action for inmates who are attempting to communicate with their victims or violating a no-contact order.

“Through this process we’re able to address and identify any of the gaps that become apparent, resulting in lasting and meaningful system change,” Lisa Fleming, Rose Brooks Center Chief Operating Officer said.

Kansas City recently renewed a three-year grant to Rose Brooks for the blueprint. The $750,000 investment will fund implementing and further developing these strategies.

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