Pennsylvania Institute on the Prosecution of Domestic Violence

State Specific
February 8 - 11, 2011

Comments From This Training
comments from others


The Pennsylvania Institute on the Prosecution of Domestic Violence (PAIPDV) was a state-specific version of the National Institute on the Prosecution of Domestic Violence (NIPDV), a three and one-half day course designed to challenge participants to reevaluate their approach to prosecuting domestic violence. PAIPDV explored the complex issues faced by prosecutors in balancing offender accountability and the impact of criminal prosecution on victims. In addition to practical case evaluation and trial advocacy skills, the curriculum addressed the development and improvement of culturally sensitive victim responses by prosecutors; examined the benefits of developing a coordinated community response; explained common injuries, relevant medical evidence and offered strategies for effectively working with medical experts. PAIPDV provided guidance in evidence-based prosecution methods with up-to-date Crawford analysis and recommended practices in responding to victim intimidation through innovative solutions and the doctrine of forfeiture by wrongdoing; explored ethical issues confronted by prosecutors; and offered prosecutors the ability to redefine outcomes and the very nature of justice in domestic violence cases. PAIPDV used hypothetical case problems, role-playing exercises, small group discussions, mini-lectures, and faculty demonstrations. Participants engaged in case evaluation and preparation to hone trial skills through an increased understanding of the many contexts in which domestic violence occurs. PAIPDV’s highly interactive format enabled prosecutors from different counties, with varied levels of experience, to learn from one another and engage in "real-life" activities and mock court proceedings that are readily transferable to their work. Experienced prosecutors who have found strategies to overcome the unique challenges in handling domestic violence cases shared their success stories and techniques. Prosecutors who attended PAIPDV left with new ideas and methods for keeping victims and communities safe and holding offenders accountable.??

The conference was held at the Omnia William Penn Hotel in Pittsburgh, PA. 21 prosecutors from the state of Pennsylvania were in attendance and were qualified for approximately twenty (20) continuing legal education credit hours including at least one (1) hour of ethics credit. Participant comments collected from evaluations included:

  • The Institute was extremely interesting and helpful. This section was very useful to specifically address our actual obligations. Thank you.
  • Hypothetical scenarios were a great way of facilitating the discussion, as well as the movie clips and interviewing of batterers. Great faculty-very impressive, relevant credentials and experience.
  • Really an outstanding conference. I learned an unbelievable amount from the instructors and my colleagues. I feel like I have a much better perspective on DV cases and that I will be much better able to navigate the broad array of issues they entail and prosecute/resolve them more affectively. I was thoroughly amazed by the wealth of knowledge the faculty had, as well as their skill as prosecutors in the courtroom. I honestly cannot say there was anything about this conference that could have been better. Thank you all for the great experience, and I look forward to applying all of the skills and knowledge I’ve acquired this week in the future.

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