WASHINGTON, D.C. – February 23, 2022 – The Association of Prosecuting Attorneys’ (APA) Domestic Violence (DV) Prosecution Committee, led by some of the nation’s leading DV prosecutors and victim advocates, announced today that it has released a new toolkit meant to inform and guide program planners on the development of Prosecutor-Led Diversion (PLD) programming for DV-related crimes.
The toolkit’s various components reflect the complexity of DV prosecution and aim to provide local, state, and federal prosecutors with the ability to build sustainable, data-informed DV diversion programs. The toolkit consists of guidepost questions and considerations for prosecutors and program developers, as well as additional resources highlighting innovative alternatives to incarceration for DV crimes.
In putting together and releasing this toolkit for implementation, APA’s DV Prosecution Committee seeks to further demonstrate how comprehensive DV diversion programs can bolster victim safety, prevent recidivism, address the root causes of violence to disrupt the cycle of violence, and, above all, create safer communities. The new toolkit is accessible to the public through APA’s Prosecutor-Led Diversion Toolkit website, which also stores a behavioral health diversion toolkit and additional guidance and resources related to diversion program planning.
“Now more than ever — with mounting backlogs from Covid-19 and rallying cries to address racial inequities in the criminal justice system — DV prosecutors need practical and innovative tools to aid them in responding to these complicated crimes,” said Jennifer Stolarksi, Chief Assistant District Attorney in DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office and co-chair of APA’s DV Prosecution Committee. “We are proud of the APA DV Committee’s dedicated efforts to support and advance the work of DV prosecutors across the nation through the creation of this DV Toolkit. APA’s DV Committee brings the nation’s leading working DV prosecutors and victim advocates together to advance domestic violence prosecution and support their efforts to create safer communities through criminal justice reform.”
Importantly, the toolkit is shaped by the input and experiences of practitioners, who understand that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to diversion program planning. APA’s new DV toolkit accounts for this fact by providing program planners with several case studies from across the country alongside its overview of vital program components to demonstrate how program planners can tailor DV diversion efforts to meet the specific needs and characteristics of their unique jurisdictions. These case studies include Survivors FIRST, a program in King County, Washington that connects survivor-defendants to intervention services and Manhattan’s Abusive Partner Intervention Program in New York City that provides trauma-informed intervention services.
More information on the mission and work of APA’s DV Prosecution Committee can be found here. To access the recently published toolkit, visit APA’s Prosecutor-Led Diversion (PLD) Toolkit website.