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Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team Presentation For Criminal Justice Advisory Group February 16, 2010.

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Presentation on theme: "Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team Presentation For Criminal Justice Advisory Group February 16, 2010."— Presentation transcript:

1 Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team Presentation For Criminal Justice Advisory Group February 16, 2010

2 2 Session Law An act establishing a domestic violence fatality prevention and protection review team—ratified 6/1/2009 Milestone for Domestic Violence Advocates Part of Mecklenburg BOCC legislative agenda Modeled after N.C. Child Fatality Prevention Team Mecklenburg model, if successful, may be replicated state-wide Goal is to identify and review dv-related deaths and facilitate communication among the various agencies involved in dv cases to prevent future fatalities.

3 3 Review Team: Community Support Services is lead agency with mandated representatives from: DV victim’s service group An attorney from the local district attorney’s office Local law enforcement personnel Local medical examiner’s office Local department of social services Local health department Local area mental health authority Local public schools A health care system Local medic or emergency services personnel A survivor of domestic violence

4 4 Powers and Duties of the Review Team Meet at least four times annually Study incidences and causes of death by dv-related behavior in the community, including an analysis of all community, private and public agency involvement with decedent and family members prior to death Develop a system for multidisciplinary review of dv-related deaths Determine whether polices governing exchange of information impede information exchange necessary to protect victims; recommend changes

5 5 Powers and Duties…continued Recommend system improvements and needed resources where gaps and deficiencies may exist. Perform other studies needed to enable Team to carry out its mandate Issue an interim report to BOCC, NC Domestic Violence Commission, and Governor’s Crime Commission by June 15, 2011 Issue final report with recommendations for action by June 15, Terminate upon filing of final report or June 15, 2014.

6 Access to Records SECTION 1.(e) Team shall have access to all medical records, hospital records, and records maintained by county or any local agency as necessary to carry out the purposes of this act, including police investigations data, medical examiner investigative data, health records, mental health records and social services records. 6

7 Limitation on Access SECTION 1.(f)…no member shall be authorized to review a d.v. fatality case while the case is under investigation by any law enforcement agency, or if an action is pending in any criminal or civil court in the State…The District Attorney must give written approval for access. 7

8 Confidentiality and Immunity SECTION 1.(g) All otherwise confidential information and records acquired or created in the exercise of the duties of the team are not subject to discovery or introduction into evidence…. No member or any one who attends a Review Team meeting may testify about what went on at any meeting 8

9 Confidentiality and Immunity Persons disclosing or providing information or records pursuant to this act are not criminally or civilly liable for disclosing or providing the information. Except for possible civil or criminal liability for breach of confidentiality, Team members are immune from claims of liability, and confidential information gathered pursuant to this act is not subject to subpoena or discovery. 9

10 10 Goal: Review First Case by Spring 2010 – June Legislation Enacted – September 2009 – Planning Team Formed with representation from: District Attorney Law Enforcement Medical Examiner Social Services County Manager’s Office United Family Services Mental Health Association Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools…and

11 More Planning Team Members: Child Fatality Review Team Health Department Judiciary Magistrates Office Probation Area Mental Health Domestic Violence Survivors Central Piedmont Community College Domestic Violence Health Care Project Women’s Commission Division of Community Support Services 11

12 12 Accomplishments (Sept. – Feb. 2010) Mission Statement, confidentiality agreements, memorandum of understanding, code of conduct, some case review protocols have been drafted Ms. Jane Harper (retired/emergency district court judge) has been selected to serve as initial Chair. More than half of the Review Team members have been named. A mock review is scheduled for March 22, 2010, facilitated by the National Domestic Violence Fatality Review Initiative

13 13 Accomplishments (cont’d): Visit scheduled March 4, 2010 to Lynchburg, Virginia to observe a DVFRT in action Information about the DVFRT has been presented to staff of Latin American Coalition, Mi Casa Su Casa, International House, and Mecklenburg Ministries. Meeting is planned with Carolinas Asian - American Chamber of Commerce. Website developed to provide information about the DVFRT to members and to the public. PPORT+SERVICES/DV+FATALITY+REVIEW+TEAM.HTM. PPORT+SERVICES/DV+FATALITY+REVIEW+TEAM.HTM

14 To be Accomplished: Compile a list of DV fatalities (closed cases from the District Attorney’s standpoint) for the Mecklenburg Review Team to consider Determine training needs for Team members Complete initial Team member appointments Based on mock review and visit to Lynchburg, select data collection tools and procedures to be used to conduct first review in spring 2010 Evaluate the process and modify as needed. 14

15 Questions?? Comments?? Thank you for your support. 15


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