Domestic Violence Diversion Court launched on Tuesday, February 4, 2014, as part of an ongoing initiative to create and maintain problem-solving courts to address various some of the issues experienced by DV defendants: this includes drug abuse, mental illness, and in particular, the violence, anger, or controlling behavior that underlies domestic abuse. The program will be overseen by President Judge Marsha Neifield, and today’s list was handled by ADA Marian Braccia.
Offenders who choose to participate in this program will be assessed to determine their various treatment needs and the social services that will most benefit them, the victims, their families, and society in general. This program is open to offenders who have victimized someone with whom their share a close personal relationship, whether it’s an intimate or romantic relationship, or a blood or family relationship.
Generally, the program will last for a six-month period. During that time, the charges will remain active and pending against each defendant. Participants will also undergo treatment at one of two designated facilities, Menergy or the Men’s Resource Center. The treatment facility will be determined by the facts and circumstances of each case. If, at the end of the treatment period, a participant has successfully completed all the terms of DV Diversion Court, incurred no new arrests, paid restitution and all fines and costs, and not engaged in any assaultive or harmful behavior toward the victim, prosecution will be withdrawn by the Commonwealth. Sanctions including expulsion from the program or entry of a sentence on the open charges may result from non-compliance with the recommended course of treatment or the rule of DV Diversion Court.
The District Attorney’s Office looks forward to this program addressing the specific problem of domestic violence in our community and maintaining the safety and dignity of Domestic Violence survivors everywhere.