Justice Department funds Ulster DA intimate partner violence intervention program

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KINGSTON – The Ulster County District Attorney’s Office has been awarded a $500,000 grant through the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women for Improving Criminal Justice Responses to Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking.

The district attorney’s office, in collaboration with the National Network for Safe Communities at John Jay College, plans to use this funding to support the expansion of the Intimate Partner Violence Intervention throughout the county.

“Reducing and preventing intimate partner violence is a core mission of the Ulster County District Attorney’s Office.” said District Attorney David Clegg. “The success of our IPVI program in the City of Kingston in partnership with the Kingston Police Department and under the guidance of the National Network for Safe Communities led to our commitment to expand the program county wide.”

Funding for this expansion will address gaps in services for victims of intimate partner violence. These gaps are often a result of a lack of coordinated response to address offending behavior at its roots.

“Ulster County has zero tolerance for domestic violence,” said County Executive Pat Ryan.

“The victims of these crimes want the behavior of their partners to stop, and I believe the grant funding to support the expansion of the IPVI will assist in deterring future violence in IPV related crimes,” said Sheriff Juan Figueroa. “One of the most dangerous calls our officers go to are domestic in nature and this intervention will reduce the danger to our officers through IPVI collaboration as well as support the victims of these crimes.”

The IPVI strategy is different than previous methods of addressing IPV. IPVI shifts the burden of preventing IPV to the offender, reduces harm to victims, allows victim advocates an opportunity to assist victims earlier in the cycle of IPV and the ability for law enforcement to respond quicker to efforts to hold IPV offenders accountable.

The IPVI strategy has seen a 36 percent reduction in domestic incident reports in the City of Kingston with a recidivism rate of 28 percent.

The IPVI initiative started in the City of Kingston in January 2017 with the support and guidance of the National Network for Safe Communities and the Department of Criminal Justice Services and began implementation on March 6, 2018. In 2020, the Saugerties Police Department joined the IPVI Task Force, followed by New Paltz Police Department this year. The Town of Ulster Police Department as well as the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office are slated to join next.