Document Type

Research Report

Publication Date



First implemented in the 1990s, specialized domestic violence courts represent one of several solutions developed to improve the response to domestic violence and enhance services for victims (Collins et al., 2021). Other solutions have included mandatory arrest and prosecutorial no-drop policies as well as increased funding support for victim services. There are reportedly over 300 DVCs in the United States as well as 50 in Canada and 100 in the United Kingdom (Eley, 2005; Gutierrez et al., 2016; Hemmens et al., 2020; Home Office, 2008; Tutty & Koshan, 2013). Based on input from a variety of key stakeholders including judges, state’s attorneys, public defense, court administration, and Community Violence Intervention Center (CVIC) staff in 2016, a specialized Domestic Violence Court (DVC) was formally established in Grand Forks (GF) in 2018. It is currently the only DVC court in the state. The GFDVC is a post-conviction specialty court whereby convicted individuals are required to participate in an orientation, intervention programming (such as New Choices facilitated by CVIC), and regular review hearings with Judge Jason McCarthy or Judge Jay Knudson. The goals of the program include increased communication and safety for victims as well as increased compliance and recidivism reduction for the perpetrators. This evaluability assessment briefly summarizes relevant outcome literature pertinent to DVCs, reports the current availability of data maintained by CVIC, and provides short-term and long-term recommendations.