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Government & Politics

Akron Family Court Trains In New Ways to Handle Domestic Violence Offender

photo of Kathryn Michael

The Akron Municipal Court is learning new ways to treat domestic violence offenders. And as WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia reports, the court will also be sharing that knowledge with the broader legal community in Ohio.

The Akron Municipal Court's Family Intervention Court Program will participate in the training session on a therapeutic alternative for handling domestic violence cases.

Akron Judge Kathryn Michael says the New York-based Center for Court Innovation is conducting the training, which she hopes will help further her mission of preventing recidivism among intimate violence offenders.

“Studies show that when children witness domestic violence when they’re growing up, then they use that as a model for their adult life. We’re trying to intervene so that children don’t see that, so that cycle doesn’t keep perpetuating.”

Judge Michael says the training will showcase tools for assessing a person’s likelihood of committing domestic violence again, drawing on interviews with the victims and police officers in each case.

“It involves an interview process with the defendant. It involves statements made by the victim to a battered women’s shelter advocate. It will involve statements made to a police officer that makes it to the prosecutor’s office.”

Once Michael and her staff have completed the training, she says they will be able to also train other courts in Ohio to use the same methods.