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Innovations in Justice- Examining the Role and Function of Domestic Violence Courts in Tarrant County, Texas

Innovations in Justice- Examining the Role and Function of Domestic Violence Courts in Tarrant County, Texas

Domestic violence is one of the issues facing many societies across the world. One of the approaches that most regions have taken to prevent domestic violence and protect the victims of domestic violence is creating laws that prohibit violent acts against both men and women and classify different types of violence to make it easier for law enforcement officers to determine which laws have been violated in domestic violent cases. The laws related to domestic violence also guide law enforcement officers on the appropriate punishment for assailants in domestic violence cases. The changing nature of the severity of domestic violence has pushed policymakers and human rights advocates to push for changes in the rights of domestic rights victims and push courts to take the issue more seriously when making judgments in cases relating to domestic violence.

Domestic Violence Courts and Why They Were Created

Domestic violence courts are specialized courts that address complex issues in domestic violence cases (National Institute of Justice, 2023). Domestic violence courts use a different approach than traditional courts because of the sensitivity of the problems they solve. Gover et al.(2021) argue that domestic violence courts were created during the women’s rights movement in the 1970s by domestic violence victim advocates and feminist activists to increase public awareness about domestic violence and demand a formal response from the judicial system to offenses related to domestic violence. The domestic violence courts in the United States share the same philosophical approach to their function and role to protect the victim(National Institute of Justice, 2023). The courts also ensure that court personnel and judges are sensitive to domestic violence issues and focus on the victim’s needs.

Tarrant County, Texas Domestic Violence Court

According to Tarrant County (2023), the domestic violence court in Tarrant County, Texas, uses the Domestic Violence Diversion Program to protect the victims of domestic violence. Tarrant County, Texas, domestic violence court is unique because it combines case management, assessment process, and victim assistance with judicial function. The defendants charged with domestic violence in Tarrant County are presented in a pre-trial diversion court that monitors their progress. The defendants are then selected to participate in the Domestic Violence Diversion Program. The eligibility criteria for the program include no partner-on-partner violence, no stalking activity, no prior or current violations of protective orders, no open warrants, no prior history of diversion, no other pending charges, consent of the victim for the offender to participate in the program and commitment to completing the program. The program lasts 12 months, after which the defendant is expected to report in person to their case manager once a week during the first thirty days. Defendants must also attend a progress review with the court at least once during the program.

The Domestic Violence Diversion Program has played a vital role in transforming the lives of individuals who were perpetrators of domestic violence. One of the people who have gone through the program and become a better person is Marcell Ozuna, a baseball star who played for the Braves baseball team as an outfielder. Marcus was arrested for choking his wife and throwing her against the wall before striking her with his broken fingers cast (Abusaid, 2021). Marcell agreed to join the Domestic Violence Diversion Program after his hearing at Fulton County. The program helped him learn how to deal with anger and realize his wrongdoings. According to Abusaid (2021), Marcell apologized to his fans and teammates for his actions and acknowledged his mistake. He also informed his teammates and fans that he was living with his wife and children. Marcell’s case is among the many successful cases of domestic violence prevention since the development of the Domestic Violence Diversion Program. In Tarrant County, Willard (2023) reports that there has been a significant decrease in the number of domestic violence victims from 16 domestic violence homicide victims in 2016 to 7 victims by the end of 2022. These statistics indicate that the implementation of the Domestic Violence Diversion Program in the region has been effective in diverting domestic violence cases in the region.

Marcy’s Law

Marcy’s Law was introduced in 2008 to amend the California Victims’ Bill of Rights and specific penal code sections. One of the main impacts of the act was reducing the length of time between paroles. The act also focuses on expanding the legal rights of victims of domestic violence crimes and protecting them by including 17 rights, including the right to protection from the defendant, the right to legal standing, and the right to be notified about court proceedings. The main victim rights changes focused on giving the victims more access to information about their domestic violence cases and protection from authorities. The victims were afforded more rights than they were previously because the public raised concerns that the courts were not giving domestic violence victims a fair hearing. Therefore, one of the rights added to assist the victims is the right to be heard in every stage of the judicial proceedings. Victims can now be present in court during their case proceedings, and prosecutors can call the victims to testify. The changes also added the right to representation by a counsel of individual choice instead of relying on the prosecutor, who is legally obligated to represent the people within his or her jurisdiction.


The issue of domestic violence continues to affect many people in relationships across the world. The United States has taken action to address the issue through its judicial system. One of the actions that have been taken is to set laws that prevent domestic violence. The second action is creating domestic violence courts that specialize in addressing issues relating to domestic violence cases. Different countries across the United States have also made initiatives to protect their residents from domestic violence. For example, Tarrant County in Texas has a domestic violence court that solves all domestic violence cases in the region. The court follows a specific system integrated into the Domestic Violence Diversion Program that focuses on helping defendants reform. The program is implemented in collaboration between the court and the defendant because there are specific obligations that the defendant must meet that require the involvement of law enforcement officials. The program has been successful in recent years because it has helped people like Marcell Ozuna, who had been charged with domestic violence reform. The program’s success is also evident in the statistics indicating that there has been a significant drop in the number of domestic violence victims. Various measures have also been taken to encourage victims of domestic violence to report and seek justice. For example, the rights of domestic violence victims have been changed to give the victims more control over domestic violence cases and protect them from perpetrators during and after their case proceedings.


Abusaid, S. (2021, September 9). Braves’ Ozuna agrees to the diversion program in the Domestic Violence Case. ajc.

Gover, A. R., Boots, D. P., & Harper, S. B. (2021). Courting justice: Tracing the evolution and future of Domestic Violence Courts. Feminist Criminology, 16(3), 366–381.

National Institute of Justice. (2023). Domestic Violence Courts.,justice%20and%20social%20service%20agencies.

Tarrant County. (2023). Domestic violence diversion program. Tarrant County TX.,they%20relate%20to%20domestic%20violence.

Willard, K. (2023, November 17). New report: Domestic violence murders in Tarrant County are trending down, but innocent bystanders are dying in attacks. NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth.,is%20going%20beyond%20abusive%20relationships.


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Write a 1,100- to 1,400-word research paper related to trends in the management of courts. Please use the outline below to organize your paper and cover all topics in the outline.

1. Introduction
2. What is a domestic violence court, and why were they created?

Innovations in Justice- Examining the Role and Function of Domestic Violence Courts in Tarrant County, Texas

Innovations in Justice- Examining the Role and Function of Domestic Violence Courts in Tarrant County, Texas

3. Discuss the domestic violence court in Tarrant County, Texas. How it works, and what programs are required by the court. Explain what is required of the participants, the programs they attend, the length of the program, etc. Also, provide a real-world example of someone who went through the program and how it helped them. Also, provide statistics on success rates of the program you discuss. Please be sure to provide the location of your program.

4. Discuss victim’s rights changes and what rights victims are now afforded. Discuss Marcy’s law and the Victims Bill of Rights. Explain why victims are afforded more rights now than they were previously and what rights have been added to assist victims.

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