Webinar Archive

Webinar Archive


Survivors Justice Project: A Radical Collaboration to Decarcerate Survivors of Domestic Violence

Survivors Justice Project: A Radical Collaboration to Decarcerate Survivors of Domestic Violence

The Survivors Justice Project (SJP) is a collective of survivors of domestic violence, currently and formerly incarcerated women, activists, lawyers, and students working for the decarceration of domestic violence survivors through the implementation of the New York State Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act (DVSJA).

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DNA and Sexual Assault Kits: A Great Forensic Tool

DNA and Sexual Assault Kits: A Great Forensic Tool

When sexual assault victims/survivors consent to a forensic sexual assault examination, they fully expect that the completed Sexual Assault Kit (SAK) will be submitted by law enforcement to a crime lab to be tested. Sadly, that is not always the case.

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“Our Response Just Wasn’t Good Enough:” Overhauling our Criminal Justice Response to Sexual Assault

“Our Response Just Wasn’t Good Enough:” Overhauling our Criminal Justice Response to Sexual Assault

In 2016, we knew there was something missing in the criminal justice response to sexual assault victims in Ramsey County, Minnesota. We were polite in our interactions with victims and we took victims’ wishes into account. We regularly took cases to trial and won many of them, but reporting rates were low and not increasing. Many victims dropped out of the process, and we didn’t always understand why. As Ramsey County Attorney John Choi described, “I knew deep down that our response just wasn’t good enough. Survivors weren’t getting the help they needed. We weren’t achieving justice for many victims.” That all began to change when Ramsey County embarked on a 6-year journey which resulted in sweeping changes to our criminal justice response.

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Alternative Responses to Intimate Partner Prosecution: From Diversion to High Lethality

Alternative Responses to Intimate Partner Prosecution: From Diversion to High Lethality

In 75% of intimate partner violence homicides, the victim experienced violence within the preceding 30 days. Victims of intimate partner homicide who have been strangled are 750% more likely to be victims of intimate partner homicide. However, not all cases involve high lethality. Therefore, communities may consider alternatives to prosecution in intimate partner violence cases, as a result of data driven factors that address outside stressors and engagement of survivors.

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Criminal Jury Trials During COVID-19 and Beyond: Prosecution Leadership for a New Era

Criminal Jury Trials During COVID-19 and Beyond: Prosecution Leadership for a New Era

COVID-19 has dramatically impacted the criminal justice system. Lengthy court delays have raised concerns over speedy trial rights and crowded dockets, prompting jurisdictions to consider how a volume of jury trials can be scheduled in the midst of uncertainty with the pandemic. However, necessary measures to protect the health and safety of all parties and the public – including social distancing in courtrooms, alternative physical spaces, and virtual hearings – raise challenges of their own. The process of adapting to change implicates constitutional and civil rights and decision-making within the necessary constitutional framework. With little time to accommodate sweeping change, prosecutors are challenged to assume leadership in the ongoing collaboration with judicial officers, defense attorneys, and other professionals to help shape thoughtful strategies for criminal proceedings during our “new normal.”

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Beyond Mere Words: How Prosecutors’ Offices Can Confront Systemic Racism in a Transformational Way

Beyond Mere Words: How Prosecutors’ Offices Can Confront Systemic Racism in a Transformational Way

In response to the murder of George Floyd, the Clark County Prosecutor’s Office formed the Action and Reform Committee (ARC). ARC is a group of attorneys, advocates, and support staff who wanted to reconsider the role of the prosecutor in the criminal justice system and turn bold ideas into real action. Since its inception, ARC has transformed the office’s internal policies, publicly supported the use of body worn cameras and bail reform, worked to educate the office in systemic and institutional racism and promote diversity in recruitment and hiring practices, fostered the opportunity for ongoing dialogue with the local defense bar on equity issues, and worked with outside organizations to engage and listen to marginalized voices in the community.

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Elevating Victims’ Voices: The Difference a Lawyer Can Make

Elevating Victims’ Voices: The Difference a Lawyer Can Make

Affording victims of crime, the power to choose how, when, and to what extent to participate in the criminal justice system correlates with more positive outcomes for both victims and the system. These choices are the foundation of victims’ rights. Yet activating rights in our legal systems requires competent legal advocacy. Unfortunately, too few victims have access to legal representation to help them assert their rights in the criminal investigation and prosecution that result from their victimization.

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“Start by Believing” A Case Study in Transforming Victims to Survivors

“Start by Believing” A Case Study in Transforming Victims to Survivors

Have you ever wondered what the long-term impacts of being believed can do for crime victims? Join survivor advocate Kimberly Corban and Weld County, Colorado District Attorney Michael J. Rourke as they discuss Kimberly’s 2006 assault by a stranger who broke into her college apartment.

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Overcoming the Criminalization of Human Trafficking Survivors

Overcoming the Criminalization of Human Trafficking Survivors

This panel will discuss the criminalization of human trafficking survivors and the ways advocates and attorneys can support survivors and help them clear their criminal records. The topics discussed will include: the intersection of the criminalization of survivors with racial justice, criminal court advocacy, affirmative defenses, criminal vacatur, changes in the laws nationally, power of vacatur for survivors, and how to build relationships with prosecution and educate the legal system.

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How Media Portrayal of Interpersonal Violence Impacts Case Investigation, Prosecution, and Survivor Care

How Media Portrayal of Interpersonal Violence Impacts Case Investigation, Prosecution, and Survivor Care

This session will explore how media portrayals of domestic and sexual violence impact case investigation and prosecution, trauma-informed victim care, and decision making by judges and juries.

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