The Criminal Justice System Response Training (CJSRT) is an annual project of Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV). The purpose of the CJSRT is to provide communities throughout Texas free, high-quality trainings on topics intersecting with the criminal justice system and family violence. The training is designed to facilitate multi-disciplinary collaboration among your community’s family violence response systems, such as law enforcement, prosecutors and legal advocates, family violence service providers, and community partners.
The CJSRT will be comprised of a personalized one-day training as well as a second follow up training consisting of in-depth technical assistance on creating or enhancing a Coordinated Community Response tailored to your community’s needs. Additional follow up and support will be provided by TCFV coordinators throughout the year after the program receives their training sessions.
Participants can receive six hours of TDCJ-CJAD approved Continuing Education Credits (CEU’s) including TCOLE, CLE (upon request), LPC, LMFT and SW.
2014-2015 Host Programs
- Dallas, The Family Place – April 7, 2015
- Brownsville, Friendship of Women – May 7, 2015
- Elgin, Family Crisis Center – April 30, 2015
- Luling, Hays- Caldwell Women’s Center – May 15, 2015
The Texas Council on Family Violence will be providing the following training topics to the hosts of the Criminal Justice System Response Trainings in 2015 .
Coordinated Community Response
Each selected community will receive a personalized training covering the importance of establishing or enhancing their Coordinated Community Response (CCR) to family violence. A selected CCR expert will collaborate with identified community leaders and create a training that fits the needs of each community.
Working with Individuals in Crisis and Trauma Informed Care
This session will provide a multi-disciplinary approach with crisis intervention and utilizing trauma informed care techniques to best serve victims of family violence.
Mental Health & Family Violence
This session explores the intersections of mental health and family violence. Participants will learn tools for working with victims who have mental health needs. Participants will gain awareness of barriers experienced by survivors, as well as ways to increase safety for survivors.
Establishing a 24-Hour Contact Initiative
This session will teach participants about the basics of the 24-hour initiative, a nationally recognized program developed with the collaboration of El Paso District Attorney’s Office and Center Against Family Violence, El Paso’s local family violence shelter. Participants will learn how to collaborate with local law enforcement, prosecutors, and victim advocates on ho how to implement a 24-hour response to victims of family violence.
Lethality Assessment Implementation for all Levels of the Criminal Justice System
This session will offer tools and information for individuals within all areas of the criminal justice system to implement and utilize a lethality assessment as they interact with both victims as well as offenders. Participants will also learn how each discipline utilizes their assessments and how to effectively collaborate together.
Developing a Domestic Violence Task Force
This session will provide a broad overview of the purpose, goals, and development process of a Domestic Violence Task Force. Participants will learn the key components and various methods of implementing or strengthening a Domestic Violence Task Force.
Utilizing Cameras for Successful Prosecution
Participants will learn how body cameras attached to law enforcement become a useful tool for providing evidence in order to prosecute domestic violence cases. Participants will learn how other Texas counties have utilized this technique and how to successfully implement the program within their own community.
Barbie Brashear is the Executive Director for the Harris County Domestic Violence Coordinating Council, a non-profit organization that works to coordinate a community response to domestic violence in Harris County. She attended Indiana University where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and is a licensed social worker in the state of Texas. She has worked in the domestic violence field for 20 years and has provided leadership to sexual assault programs, domestic violence programs, and long-term housing programs for over 17 years. She is a certified trainer for the Houston Touchpoints Team and serves on the Boards for the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault, the Houston Area Association for the Education of Young Children, and the Community Collaborations Council.
Gretta Garner, JD
Gretta Garner, JD is the Family Violence Director for the Travis County Counseling and Education Services in Austin, TX and serves as the Chair of the Austin/Travis County Family Violence Task Force. Ms. Gardner’s career as a legal advisor for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault was inspired by her early work in the Domestic Violence Unit of the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office. She has worked for nearly two decades to help shape guidelines, policies, and procedures that communities can use to end violence against women. She received her BA in Psychology from Vassar College and her JD from the University of Maryland School of Law. She is licensed to practice law in Maryland and Texas and is certified in mediation.
Ms. Gardner is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Texas School of Law, Core Faculty for Establishing Expertise as an Expert Witness with the Institute on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, a Steering Committee Member of the Institute on Domestic Violence in the African-American Community, and belongs to a multitude of local, state, and national committees that address violence against women and their children. Ms. Gardner received the 2014 “Unsung Hero Award” from the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence Against Women and The Mary Kay Foundation.
Jaime Esparza, District Attorney for the 34th Judicial District, is now serving his sixth term for El Paso, Culberson, and Hudspeth Counties. Mr. Esparza is a 1979 graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and, in 1983, earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Houstin Law Center. He was licenesed to practice law in 1983 and is Board Certified in Criminal law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Jaime Esparza was recognized by the State Bar of Texas as the 2005-2006 Prosecutor of the Year. The award, given annually to one prosecutor statewide, is recognized as one of the highest honors a prosecutor in the State of Texas may receive.
In September 2013, the Foundation for Improvement of Justice selected Jaime Esparza as the Paul H. Chapman Award winner, a national honor, for his Domestic Violence 24-Hour Contact Program. He is on the Board of Directors of the Texas Council on Family Violence and serves as Chair of their Public Policy Committee. As a commitment to address criminal justice issues unique to the Southwest border region, Mr. Esparza serves as the Project Director for the Border Prosecution Unit, which works successfully in partnership with the 16 other District Attorneys along the border.
The Sexual Assault Family Violence Investigators Course (SAFVIC) is designed to provide law enforcement officers around the state with the tools they need to effectively investigate and prevent sexual assault and family violence. SAFVIC is funded by a grant from the Criminal Justice Division, Office of the Governor and the National Violence Against Women Office. This program was originally developed by a statewide steering committee composed of representatives from law enforcement, prosecution and victim services. The SAFVIC program uses a network of certified trainers to deliver the training on a local basis, thus enabling more officers the access to training opportunities.
Sgt. Melissa Holbrook
Sgt. Melissa Holbrook is a 24 year veteran with the Houston Police Department and is currently assigned to a murder squad but has worked in Houston Police Department’s Family Violence Unit as an investigative sergeant and liaison with the Harris County District Attorney’s Family Criminal Law Division. She is a member of the Harris County Domestic Violence Coordinating Council and SAFVIC instructor.
Emily Rudenick LeBlanc, LPC-S
Emily Rudenick LeBlanc, LPC-S, is the Director of Community Advocacy at Safeplace. She is tasked with working with systems to increase the effectiveness of local responses to the crimes of sexual assault and family violence. Emily is currently the co-chair of the Austin/Travis County Sexual Assault Response and Resource Team (SARRT) and the Family Violence Protection Team.
Interested in hosting?
A CJSRT is provided at no cost to your program or attendees and offers continuing education to many disciplines.
Your organization must be a non-profit organization that primarily serves survivors of family violence to be eligible for hosting the CJSRT training. The host organization will partner with their local police or sheriff’s department and be responsible for participating in the planning process, obtaining a training location, marketing, and other logistics.
Programs will be selected by criteria including location, CJSRT history, and available resources.
For more information, please contact Sarah Hilderbrand at SHilderbrand@tcfv.org or (512) 685-6375.