Driving systemic change to prevent domestic violence fatalities

The Quattrone Center and the City of San Francisco have released a report recommending policies and procedures to reduce domestic violence-related fatalities.

The Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, in coordination with the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office (SFDA) and the Department on the Status of Women in the City and the County of San Francisco (DOSW), has released the Domestic Violence Death Review Team’s (DVDRT) Lethality Assessment Report, which details 16 recommendations to the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) and the City of San Francisco related to a well-known and high-publicized fatal case of domestic violence that took place in October 2014. The findings are intended to prevent similar domestic violence incidents from occurring in the future.

Law students seated outdoors in front of Penn Carey Law.
Image: Courtesy of Penn Carey Law

The pilot—a collaboration between the SFDA and the DOSW, pursuant to the provisions of California Penal Code 11163.3—engaged the Quattrone Center to assist in the coordination and moderation of the pilot and resulting report. The City and the County of San Francisco have a long-established commitment to reviewing domestic violence-related fatalities, strengthening system policies and procedures, and identifying prevention strategies to reduce future incidents of domestic violence-related injuries and deaths.

The Quattrone Center is a national thought leader in sentinel event reviews in criminal justice and has assisted jurisdictions across the country in the conduct of such reviews in a variety of different contexts within the criminal justice system.

“The assembly of the DVDRT team, and this first review and report, represent a substantial addition to the City’s efforts to improve the San Francisco Police, DA’s Office, Sheriff’s Office, and community efforts to work together to prevent domestic violence fatalities,” says John Hollway, executive director of the Quattrone Center. “While jurisdictions are often hesitant to conduct reviews of highly charged undesirable outcomes in the criminal justice system, this process can be a model for other jurisdictions as they seek to prevent domestic violence fatalities in the future.”

Read more at Penn Carey Law.