What is a Family Justice Center?
It is the co-location of a multi-disciplinary team of professionals who work together in one, centralized location to provide coordinated services to victims of family violence. While a Family Justice Center may house many partners, the basic partners include police officers, prosecutors and community-based advocates. The core concept is to provide one place where victims can go to talk to an advocate, plan for their safety, talk to a police officer, meet with a prosecutor, receive medical assistance, receive information on shelter and get help with transportation.
The Family Justice Center model is based on the San Diego Family Justice Center model (www.familyjusticecenter.org) which opened in 2002. The Family Justice Center model has been identified as a best practice in the field of domestic violence intervention and prevention services. The documented and published outcomes in the Family Justice Center model have included: reduced homicides; increased victim safety; increased autonomy and empowerment for victims; reduced fear and anxiety for victims and their children; and reduced recantation and minimization by victims when wrapped in services and support, to name a few. (See Casey Gwinn, Gael Strack, Hope for Hurting Families: Creating Family Justice Centers Across America (Volcano Press 2006)).