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opposition, it is critical to engage a victim in risk assessment and safety planning, and to assure that New York's fair treatment standards for victims of crime are upheld.

Risk prevention strategies may include:

¤consistent use by law enforcement of the Standardized Domestic Incident Report (DIR), as required by law, to document all incidents of domestic abuse, whether or not an offense was committed;

¤use of the DIR for local case tracking purposes and for informing the prosecutor of prior abusive acts;

¤officer-signed criminal informations or accusatory instruments;

¤follow-up interviews conducted at a victim-designated convenient site and time;

¤a mechanism for developing better law enforcement collaboration and team- building, across jurisdictions or between different governmental units (between local police and the Sheriff's Department, for example);

¤vertical prosecution (using the same prosecutor throughout the case);

¤to the greatest degree possible, in criminal cases, pursuing the strategy of "evidence-centered prosecution" that does not rely on a victim's testimony;

¤a protocol for handling cases in which the defendant is  identified as a victim of domestic violence, whether as a result of a domestic violence-related offense or an unrelated charge;

¤appropriate use of the testimony of qualified domestic violence experts in court;

¤clear written protocols and guidelines for plea agreements in domestic violence cases;

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