Sex Offense Courts: the innovative use of evidence-based best practices to enhance offender accountability and victim safety

Stream: Examining What Works: what have been critical components in developing research-based responses that have also delivered promising results?
Date: Tuesday, 10 February 2015
Time: 4.10 pm – 5.40 pm


The Center for Court Innovation has worked with several jurisdictions in the United States, in collaboration with local stakeholders, to plan and implement Sex Offense Courts. Created to promote justice by providing a comprehensive approach to case resolution, increase sex offender accountability, enhance community safety and ensure victim safety while protecting the rights of all litigants, sex offense courts have institutionalized several evidence-based best practice strategies, including assessment, swift referral to treatment, judicial compliance reviews, procedural justice, and enhanced collaboration between the court and stakeholders. Using case studies and specific court documents, this presentation will provide an overview of the sex offense court model, including administrative and procedural overview of the planning and operations; describe the evidence-based strategies employed by sex offense courts; and discuss performance measures to evaluate the success of the sex offense court model.


Rebecca Thomforde Hauser (Presenter), Associate Director, Domestic Violence and Sex Offender Management Programs, Center for Court Innovation
As the Associate Director at the Center for Court Innovation in New York, Ms. Thomforde Hauser assists jurisdictions nationally and in New York State to plan and implement Domestic Violence, Integrated Domestic Violence, Sex Offense and Youthful Offender Domestic Violence Courts. At the Center, she provides training to judges and court stakeholders on a variety of domestic violence issues, facilitates site visits to model courts, and provides on-going technical assistance to courts and stakeholder agencies. Additionally, Ms. Thomforde Hauser is the Batterer Accountability Coordinator for the state of Vermont, overseeing the certification process of batterer intervention programs, providing training and technical assistance to batterer programs, working with the Department of Corrections in Vermont to craft policies and procedures that enhance victim safety and offender accountability, and reporting to Vermont's Council on Domestic Violence. Before coming to the Center, she was a Victim Witness Advocate at the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office in Boston, providing crisis intervention, case management, and court advocacy to domestic violence victims as well as other victims of violent crimes. She graduated from Earlham College, where she received a Fulbright Scholarship, and Boston University School of Theology.