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be acted upon.

Courts should not order interventions such as substance abuse or mental health counseling for batterers as a response to the abusive conduct, or in lieu of a criminal justice sanction, such as probation supervision. Of course, such referrals may be indicated as a response to a non-domestic violence-related issue, such as a mental health or substance abuse problem. When battering is subsequently identified in a case unrelated to domestic violence, the policy of substance abuse professionals should be to inform the court of this assessment as a potential relapse issue (see  Substance Abuse Treatment System, 2.d.). The court should then consider a modification of the court order to include other special conditions, an order of protection, or probation supervision.


a.Comprehensive written domestic violence policies and protocols should be developed and regularly updated for each court, criminal justice agency, probation department, and other community corrections agencies.

To the fullest extent possible, such policies/protocols should be developed with the active participation of line staff and others who will be responsible for day-to-day implementation. It is critical that such policies be developed in consultation with local domestic violence advocates, service providers, and task forces, and be representative of all members of the community. In addition, such policies/protocols should be made publicly available and efforts should be made to conduct outreach to victims and potential victims to inform them of any policy changes.

b.Written procedures should be developed for intervening in situations where officers of the court, court staff, law enforcement, or probation and other community corrections professionals are involved in domestic incidents, become the subject of an order of protection, or are  identified as having been convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors or felonies.

In addition to ensuring compliance with relevant state and federal law, such policies should outline appropriate supervisory/administrative action, such as reassignment pending investigation, confiscation of weapons, suspension, and referral to employee assistance or psychological services, when indicated. (See  Employers, Abuser Accountability.)

In addition, judges should recuse themselves from cases in

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