The following sections were also added to the Attorney General’s Directive:
4.6.8 Confidentiality of ODARA Scores and Scoring Forms. Due to, among other things, the inclusion of criminal history information, ODARA scores and ODARA Scoring Forms are not subject to public access and shall only be disseminated amongst police or other law enforcement agencies authorized to investigate reports of domestic violence (similarly, PSA reports and related information are confidential). Along with other police reports, ODARA Scoring Forms are discoverable.
The fact that our chief law enforcement officer states that ODARA forms are discoverable is helpful to the defense. As the forms may include alleged victim and witness statements, they should be examined. Prosecutors would be hard-pressed to find bases to withhold the ODARA forms in the face of the plain language of the Directive.
4.6.9 ODARA Training. The Division of Criminal Justice, in cooperation with the Attorney General’s Advocacy Institute, shall develop an ODARA training program for law enforcement officers and prosecutors to facilitate implementation of the ODARA as a statewide tool in accordance with the procedures set forth herein. The Division shall establish two components of the training program which, shall include (1) mandatory “live” training for Assistant Prosecutors who supervise Domestic Violence Units and Domestic Violence Liaison Officers from law enforcement agencies, and computer- or web-based training for Assistant Prosecutors and sworn law enforcement officers whose duties can reasonably be expected to touch upon domestic violence incidents as further described below. To the extent feasible, the Division shall make the computer/web-based training available on-line through the NJLEARN system.
It would be interesting to know the cost of these training programs. They do not seem to be an efficient use of taxpayer dollars since the ODARA can not be used in court and police and prosecutors are already trained in domestic violence issues.
The chief executive of every law enforcement agency operating under the authority of the laws of the State of New Jersey shall take such steps necessary to ensure that every sworn officer assigned to patrol duty, every sworn officer who directly supervises officers assigned to patrol duty, and every sworn officer whose duties include investigating the circumstances of or related to a domestic violence incident receives the computer/web-based training developed pursuant to this subsection. Such officers shall receive training within 60 days of the training program being made available by the Division of Criminal Justice. A law enforcement officer must complete the training program before he or she can administer the ODARA. Each County Prosecutor shall take such steps necessary to ensure that every Assistant Prosecutor under his or her command whose duties can reasonably be expected to touch upon domestic violence incidents (e.g., performing a screening function, handling a first appearance or an application for pretrial detention, and the actual prosecution of a defendant whose charges arise out of a domestic violence incident) must also complete the computer/web-based training program developed pursuant to this subsection. Such Assistant Prosecutors shall receive training within 60 days of the training program being made available by the Division of Criminal Justice. An Assistant Prosecutor must complete the training program before he or she is assigned to any duty that can reasonably be expected to touch upon domestic violence incidents. The Division may from time to time develop additional ODARA training programs and aids to achieve the goals of enhancing the thoroughness, timeliness, quality, and coordination of domestic violence investigations and prosecutions.