MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Shelby County District Attorney’s Office is working to prevent domestic violence alongside the University of Memphis public safety institute.
The University of Memphis public safety institute looks for different ways to prevent and respond to domestic violence situations.
Dr. Amaia Iratzoqui, the University of Memphis public safety institute research director, says the collaboration is part of a larger initiative, including representatives from across the criminal justice systems, domestic violence court, and social service agencies that work directly with the victims, survivors, and their families.
The district attorney, Steve Mulroy, says it’s an incredibly important issue and it is important for them to work collaboratively.
“It’s sort of a silent epidemic, Mulroy said. “It reaches all demographics, all income levels, all parts of the city. It is a significant driver of violence in general. A large percentage of our violent cases have their start in domestic violence incidents.”
Dr. Iratzoqui says that domestic violence has been a predictor of many types of violence, including mass shootings.
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“So to be able to handle domestic violence really speaks to handling violence from a larger perspective,” Iratzoqui said.
Mulroy says services will be offered to victims of domestic violence during this collaboration such as new efforts to provide temporary housing, counseling, and education services.
In regards to the “revolving door” of crime, he says he is worried about sending people off to prison and not providing them with rehabilitated services.
“If we don’t require that they get rehabilitated interventions when they come back out, and they will come back out, they will return to the only life they’ve ever known, which is life on the street,” Mulroy said. “That revolving door, that repeat offender rate is something we don’t pay enough attention to. That’s driving crime far more than anything to do with bail.”