Judges play a crucial role in helping to end violence against women and children—both in the courtroom and in their communities. Since 1999, FUTURES has trained nearly 12,000 judges across the U.S. to enhance their understanding of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking, and equip them with the tools they need to better support victims of abuse.
National Judicial Institute on Domestic Violence
Through a partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, FUTURES formed the National Judicial Institute on Domestic Violence. The Institute’s wide range of educational programs provides judges with a better understanding of how to navigate criminal and civil cases involving violence against women. They also learn how to support victims’ need for safety, support, and autonomy, while holding batterers accountable for their conduct and offering them opportunities to change their abusive behavior.
Judges return to their communities with an enhanced sense of leadership. Many become ambassadors of the program and use program materials to train local court staff and system professionals. According to a program evaluation, the number of judges who rated themselves as leaders in the field of domestic violence cases quadrupled as a result of their training through the Institute.
The National Judicial Institute has collaborated with a broad range of professionals—including judges, attorneys, advocates, academics, mental health experts, social scientists, and more—in designing and delivering programs and projects for the judiciary. All programs use a peer-to-peer education model that guides participants through an interactive learning process.
We regularly monitor current trends, policies, and field advancements to continually improve the portfolio of programs offered to judges and judicial officers.
A Process and Outcome Evaluation of a National Judicial Education Program