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William R. Steinhaus
Dutchess County Executive
(845) 486-2000 firstname.lastname@example.org
October 20, 1999
Steinhaus Touts DART Program Training
Officials From Other Counties Attend to Learn
About Dutchess County's DART Program
Poughkeepsie, NY - County Executive William R. Steinhaus announced the one day training seminar tomorrow aimed at highlighting Dutchess County's Domestic Abuse Response Team (DART) for officials from other counties. The County's DART program is a model of probation procedures and pre-trial services which other counties can adopt.
"We are honored that the state thought highly enough of our DART program to use it as a model for other counties throughout the state," Steinhaus stated. "Our DART program, like many of our other success initiatives, is a collaborative interagency effort. This effort is designed to organize an aggressive response to domestic violence."
DART is a multi-agency approach designed to hold offenders accountable and to assist victims with the legal, emotional and safety issues surrounding domestic violence. Its goals are to enhance the criminal justice system's response to domestic violence and improve the ability to monitor compliance of defendants. Through the DART program, responsibility of monitoring defendants is placed on the justice system rather than on the victim. Through the increased accountability of batterers, DART hopes to reduce the case attrition and increase safety for women.
Finally, DART increases the chances that victims of domestic violence will pursue prosecution by demonstrating the system's immediate and coordinated response.
"Due to the success of our DART program, the interest in the training seminar has exceeded our expectations and we were forced to relocate the training seminar to a larger facility," Steinhaus noted. "The seminar will now be held at Vassar College."
Officials attending from other counties include probation officials, victim advocates, District Attorneys, judges and police. Certain elements the seminar will highlight the cooperation between the police and advocates at the time of arrest, the immediate flow of arrest information from DA to probation, the priority given to domestic violence cases by the court, the use of outreach aides to coordinate with the prosecutor, the collaboration between the probation officer and the Batterers, Program and access to other Probation Department programs such as electronic monitoring in the home.
"Clearly, the most unique element that I feel this seminar will convey is the importance of cooperation," Steinhaus said. "The daily conference on all new arrests and the weekly interagency DART conference that we hold in the county ensure that the right hand knows what the left hand is doing, how its doing it and the progress being made. This approach has led to our successes in the areas of economic growth, in children's services, as well as in domestic violence.The county DART program's steering committee consists of representatives from Probation and Community Corrections, the District Attorney's office, victims services agencies, the courts, the Department of Social Services, law enforcement and the health care industry. Dutchess County District Attorney William V. Grady stated that "the coordinated response by all the participating agencies has helped us tremendously in insuring greater offender accountability while at the same time more effectively dealing with the safety of the victim and her numerous needs." "It's all about immediate offender accountability," Steinhaus added.
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