Attorney General Lockyer's Task Force on Domestic Violence Holds First Hearing in San Diego
(SAN DIEGO) – Attorney General Bill Lockyer's Task Force on Local Criminal Justice Response to Domestic Violence today held its first regional hearing in San Diego. The task force will meet throughout the state to study local policies and practices, identify those that work well and how they can improve their efforts to protect and prevent family violence.
"California leads the nation in its efforts to stop the cycle of domestic violence, yet we still have an epidemic," Lockyer said. "Despite greater awareness and tougher laws, in 2002, more than 150 murders were committed as a result of intimate partner violence and local law enforcement agencies received close to 200,000 domestic violence-related calls for assistance. This task force will build on practices that work, and help fix those that don't."
During the hearings, testimony and public comments will be taken on four issues: How domestic violence restraining orders are obtained and enforced; how law enforcement agencies respond to mandated reports of domestic violence by health care practitioners; how courts, probation and batterer intervention programs hold batterers accountable; and how prosecutors' offices handle misdemeanor domestic violence cases.
Among those scheduled to testify are experts from criminal justice agencies, the medical field and victim advocacy groups in San Diego, San Bernardino, Riverside and Orange counties.
Lockyer created the task force in December to examine how well local criminal justice agencies respond to and deal with domestic violence issues. San Diego City Attorney Casey Gwinn chairs the 24-member task force, which includes representatives of local and state law enforcement agencies, probation offices, prosecutors, public defenders, judges, domestic violence victims' advocates and public health officials. The Task Force will submit a report by the end of the year describing current practices, identifying critical needs, highlighting successful approaches and proposing possible legislative changes.
Additional information about the Attorney General's efforts to combat domestic violence is available at the Attorney General's Crime and Violence Prevention Center web site at www.safestate.org . A list of the task force members may be viewed at http://www.ag.ca.gov/newsalerts/2003/03-150.pdf.