New way of handling domestic violence leads to increase in convictions

A collaborative effort between law enforcement, prosecutors, the courts, and community advocates has led to a significant increase in domestic violence convictions in Minneapolis. The new partnership and changes to how cases are handled has increased conviction rates by 50 percent since 2005.

At a roundtable discussion on Jan. 3, the “Minneapolis Model” of handling domestic abuse cases was discussed. The roundtable, which included City staff and advocacy group leaders, was hosted by U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, in preparation for Congressional reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. The act provides support and assistance to states and local communities to strengthen efforts aimed at ending domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and dating violence. Nationally, it is estimated that 25 percent of women experience domestic violence at some point in their lifetime.

The Minneapolis Model is a coordinated response to domestic violence in Minneapolis involving law enforcement, prosecution, advocates, community corrections and a specialized domestic violence court for misdemeanor cases. The model is based on the principle that an effective law enforcement and prosecution response to misdemeanor domestic violence cases can prevent more serious offenses, protecting victims and their children.

The key elements of the Minneapolis Model include:

Results of the Minneapolis Model include:

Published Jan 3, 2012