Let's Get Honest! Absolutely Uncommon Analysis of Family & Conciliation Courts' Operations, Practices, & History

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Posts Tagged ‘One-Stop Justice Shops

A(nother) RICO Case? Rapid Proliferation, International Expansion of Avirat, Inc.’s OurFamilyWizard® Exposes the Private Enterprise Entrenched in the Family Law Associations, Courts, and their various Nonprofits, starting with the AFCC. Family Court Judges Can Mandate Parents to Subscribe to this Electronic Platform [WRITTEN Jan. 2018; PUBLISHED Nov. 24, 2018].

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A(nother) RICO Case? Rapid Proliferation, International Expansion of Avirat, Inc.’s OurFamilyWizard® Exposes New Levels of Existing Private Enterprise Entrenched and Innate to the Family Law: Bar Associations, Courts, Judicial Trainings, and Various Nonprofits, starting with the AFCC [WRITTEN Jan. 14, 2018; PUBLISHED Nov. 24, 2018]. (case-sensitive shortlink ends “-8pp”  This is a SHORT post!)

Subtitle: Avirat’s Financial Success (2001ff) is built and still relies for promotion upon Family Court Judges Mandating Parents to Subscribe, and Continued Jurisdiction over Domestic Violence, so-called “High-Conflict” Divorce, Custody and Child Support cases.

Avirat, Inc. incorporated only in 2001, but now lists offices in Minnesota and London, while at least another privately controlled corporation by the same name (and at same address) dealing with “Global” registered recently 2016/2017 in Minnesota, per Minnesota’s Business Entity Search portal

I’ll repeat subtitle and that first paragraph after my update section, next.  FYI, not too much post is below the update & lead-in text.  I think it makes enough points for now.


Nov. 24, 2018 note:  See also my Jan. 2018-restructured home page (just “FamilyCourtMatters.org”) (scroll down pretty far) for more images on this conference and paragraphs on OurFamilyWizard® | Between January and now I was busy maintaining housing, several relocations within just a few months, and (finally) fleeing California w| only what fit in my car thanks to a kind offer to couch-surf (briefly!) and obtaining housing in another state and time zone spring/summer/fall 2018. I have now signed a lease and am back onto posting and Tweeting on these matters and reporting as I can and as I see them, on so-called new developments, most of them predictable with the directions the field has been expanding for several decades. Most are simply new labels with a tweak for the same old practices — and agenda.

 

NOV. 2018 “Update” PARAGRAPHS with TWO IMAGE GALLERIES

This topic is always timely but came up again in context of seeing on Twitter (yet) another disturbing scenario involving “One Mom’s Battle” where the [OMB] legal filing existed briefly as a nonprofit but never (under that name) obtained an IRS# that IRS website shows, yet the website is still up hawking wares and, in a rather devious attempt to distract from the term “parental alienation,” substitute instead “DV by Proxy” but continue to focus on psychological not legal terms


Dec. 5, 2018 (after publication), I took some time to sound off, impromptu, on what looks like a deceptive usage here of “DV by proxy,” and “buyer beware” even if that means, buying (believing, re-publicizing and echoing) the concept.  Do you really know what it represents?

This section (these paragraphs in light-blue background) is a call to exercise common sense and pay attention to details, notice what does and does not fit with declared agenda.   In exchange for your sociomedia referrals or re-tweeting/posting (etc.) attention, demand that people behind an entity, or turning their stories into books and hitting the conference/coaching circuits alongside family court-associated professional fields (law, psychology, judges), consistently comply with state codes regulating registration of nonprofit — or for-profit — business entities, and with the IRC , i.e., federal income tax code requirements for corporate or business entity exemption from it.  Or say why they couldn’t/didn’t.

We COULD put a stop to the ‘BS’ by refusing to disseminate it.  That’s a personal commitment to just not be used any more! Women in particular should know what I mean…Show more self-respect and self-discipline; do your homework!

Let me say that again, for current or formerly battered mothers — fathers is a different situation because unlike as for mothers, there is still a government website and related programming “Fatherhood.gov” — using the term “DV” doesn’t by definition mean those promoting (selling or helping other sell) this new phrasing are empathetically aware that the use of “parental alienation” can distract from domestic violence, i.e., including physical assault & battery behavior by an intimate partner, spouse (live-in or “estranged” after protective order was filed).  At first glance, it may seem to by using the two letters “DV” or the two words “domestic violence.”

Not everyone talking about “domestic violence” or working in the field (and certainly not all foundations backing organizations) are against domestic violence and for prosecuting it where found instead of pointing fingers and devising new jargon (names)  (like “alienators”) for those reporting it!  If you have been so assaulted, and are now fighting to retain contact with your children, not having engaged in criminal activity yourself or facing a legitimate accusation of having engaged in such criminal activity — not all people talking about DV and campaigning it are your friends!

That also goes for not all people campaigning to reform the family courts are righteously indignant AND transparent to you and the public about their stated agenda. I say, develop accounting literacy, do some basic background checks (where possible, i.e., if it’s a nonprofit or claims to be a business entity, there should be a footprint and trail of filings) and compare what’s found with the proclamations.  Those checks often reveal through basic deductive process (including process of elimination as being forthcoming and honest in general) what an ultimate goal would be.  Sometimes it takes time and attention to various “players” and their constant reference to each other (and refusal to reference any evidence or anyone  calling attention to said evidence, which counter the basis for the intended “solutions”)  ….

“Domestic Violence” is a field of practice now; the word “advocates” is commonly used.  People have invested their lives in the philosophy of whoever’s been hiring them (sometimes low pay, sometimes high pay) to work in the nonprofits — or volunteer, NOT aware of the larger economic picture — at service provision level.  This field has been drastically impacted by diversion of prosecution and cases into “family court” and miscellaneous (though organized in conferences still) intervention programming.   It is a career path for many – -not, usually if ever, battered women and their children (or men, or sexual and family molestation survivors, etc.).    Those who have made it such a career path have seen fit to NOT report openly on in how many ways government already funds the “opposition” (I’m referring to 1996 Welfare Reform and the years leading up to it… USA) also. Essentially, this is a sporting event, gender-based, and with rigged outcomes.

It’s time to find out who is backing which sides and for how much — now, and planned in the future.  Then compare that to what is in the future for survivors plowing through the family court / child support / retaliation for having sought child support / seeking safety (etc.) gauntlets.  How many of these are then going back and making a living in the same field? Is there any way, reasonably, that 50 – 75% of these parents could or should? (No…).  But others are, or sure are trying hard (case in point, One Mom’s Battle) and not all are playing “by the rules,” that is rules applying to corporate registrations and commerce, or where claiming nonprofit status and seeking donations, online — to the IRS and state-level qualifications for doing so.

I have a post comparing this to dog-fighting and cock-fighting.  Done in prisons, it’s outrageous when discovered.  Done on a massive scale by our own federal government, followed through down to state and local, with private entities egging ’em on (and subcontracting, feeding off the conflict and confusion) — it’s “business as usual.”

IT’s NOT!  It’s an attempt to apply the words “domestic violence” to “parental alienation.”  This is the next logical step in decriminalizing (i.e, undermining criminal statutes nationwide) and switching the accusing terminology “DV by proxy” to the reporting person.  Just read the websites carefully, and “for God’s sake!” (and/or your kids’ and the public’s), get a grasp on how those two words relate to funding streams to both state entities and nonprofits (worldwide, but I’m most familiar with the US system — and that’s by way of US Dept of HHS under 1984 FVPSA (Family Violence Prevention and Services Act) which is under “CAPTA” (Child Abuse Prevention AND TREATMENT Act) and by way of US DOJ “Office of Violence Against Women.”  Both streams seem to incorporate fathers’ rights groups and, some, fathers’ rights funding too..  JUST BECAUSE IT SAYS “DV” on the label doesn’t mean it (or the speaker or organization) is taking a stand against criminal felony or misdemeanor acts and patterns of activity.  

The concept is to control, centralize, and standardize responses to domestic violence from the federal level, using the weight of available money (or obtaining more) for agency behavioral change.  It’s a FIELD — just as “Fatherhood” is also a field.  Now, which one is better funded and by how much?  I’ve looked — have you?  [[comments between these two lines added Dec 5, 2018//LGH]]


(BACK TO MORE SPECIFICS AS IN THE POST TITLE):

The gallery (six images) just below is from California Secretary of State, Office of Attorney General and (one image) IRS: standard places to look for any California-domiciled entity.  The website remains up but the registration is gone — leaving it unclear (so far) who, REALLY, is doing business – legally — under this name, or if not, why the misleading website remains up.

Meanwhile seeing the “Educate Your Judge” and promotion of “OurFamilyWizard®” links at the top of OneMomsBattle.com prompted me to at least finally post this, and continue seeking to warn ALL concerned to do basic due diligence before assuming based on either gender, expressed empathy, or allegedly shared personal family court/custody experiences whose interests are being promoted.

I included the Tweet thread [http://bit.ly/2r0BzX8] which got me again wondering how is it that so many Moms actually ARE seemingly aware of at least the existence {if not the methods or stated agenda} of “Association of Family and Conciliation Courts” and its significance to their children’s lives (and their own) — while year after year so many of the professionals working with each other and sometimes (as in Tina Swithin’s example here) victorious survivors of family court nightmares manage to barely reference it — while promoting other solutions, jargon and selling stuff under mysterious or barely-registered, and changing entities.

(Dec. 5, 2018 related question)… Why should women aware of AFCC continue promoting the products, services, jargon, and purposes of the family court professionals — and/or survivors associating with them — who are so intent on NOT mentioning AFCC?  When it’s OUR lives, time, case histories, stories; our time and attention are valuable commodities to these family-court associated professionals and survivor-speaker-author-consulting-coaching survivors.  Why give it away indiscriminately?  Have more self-respect and awareness of your personal value as members of this demographic (i.e., survivors, mothers, fathers…)..

The image gallery (nine images) just below shows: my recent search of the term “DV by Proxy quickly led to OneMom’sBattle (which had been quoted in a Tweet); my subsequently (heavily) annotated images from the website, and as I recall a link-through or another phrase search result exemplifying that “ALL PR is GOOD PR” allowing Amy J.L. Baker to argue with Leadership Council’s Joy Silberg over usage — while both of them (and I’m sure those involved in OMB website and promotions surely must know too) know full well that AFCC exists — but continue to play the “don’t name it game.” Amy Baker’s 2012 article (in the gallery) responds, it says, to a 2009 Leadership Council article (hard to find, but it was at “TheLizLibrary” (LizKates) well-known to many of us over the years in this field.  Which brings up despite what an extensive library it is (!) how it, too, barely/RARELY references the organization AFCC as having ANYthing to do with parental alienation promotion, tactics, and antidotes.  Then I also take into account that Ms. Kates is also a family lawyer.

At this point, others will have to do the work they haven’t been.



WHERE JANUARY 2018 POST STARTED (and remains unchanged below, except I added tags before publishing)

Subtitle: Avirat’s Financial Success (2001ff) is built and still relies for promotion upon Family Court Judges Mandating Parents to Subscribe, and Continued Jurisdiction over Domestic Violence, so-called “High-Conflict” Divorce, Custody and Child Support cases.

Avirat, Inc. incorporated only in 2001, but now lists offices in Minnesota and London, while at least another privately controlled corporation by the same name (and at same address) dealing with “Global” registered recently 2016/2017 in Minnesota, per its Business Entity Search details.


Here, the subtitle is an important part of the topic. I am summarizing what I had to, literally, bite my tongue from speaking out substantially more about, when discussing the 2017 Boston 54th Annual Association of Family and Conciliation Courts Conference, which on its “sponsors” and “collaborating associations” page listed OurFamilyWizard as the only “Diamond” sponsor — whatever level of donations that represents.  (See large, colorful and/or annotated images below)

Meanwhile, and I did blog this recently in the context of “Reunification Camps,” a 55th Annual Conference is scheduled for 2018, highlighting some members’ involvement with the high-profile Jaycee Dugard Abduction that took place, actually (the recovery of Jaycee and her two daughters from NON-family abduction a full generation  — 18 years — before; she was about 11 years old only!!) and “reunification” therapy and camps, some involving horses.  I already posted on this and have been discussing “reunification” situations, but here’s a reminder image.  It turns out, that the therapist Rebecca Bailey (from N. California) of “Transitioning Families” (the term trademarked years before, and the LLC finally registered only in 2016 — to be voluntarily dissolved in 2017, AFTER (not before) which the area in which the horses were held was destroyed by wildfires in the area.  Northern California was on fire.  So, frequently and recently, is Southern California.  It seems to go with the state….

Img #1 of 5: AFCC’s 55th Annual Conf featuring Jaycee Dugard [+ Rebecca Bailey, and JayCFndtn (adv)] early June 2018 in DC

Img #3 of 5: AFCC’s 55th Annual Conf featuring Jaycee Dugard [+ Rebecca Bailey, and JayCFndtn (adv)] early June 2018 in DC. Notice “Annette T. Burns” (new President) who’s also been heavily promoting Our Family Wizard.

Certain behaviors, such as setting up conflicts, then expanding court operations to solve them (while continuing to claim subject matter jurisdiction over criminal matters, to the ongoing benefit of criminals and felons who might otherwise be handled under that system, but can fare much better under the “it’s just a family dispute” or ‘differentiated domestic violence’ and/or “whole family, “holistic” treatment philosophy) AND meeting regularly to hawk their wares that judges can mandate consumption of — are so basic, so entrenched and so innate to the entire system of family (and where it applies, conciliation, and other specialized problem-solving courts that continue to be spun off from the failures of the family courts, year after year) that I felt it necessary to outline on a new Home Page I’m setting up to restructure this blog.However, outlining, using commonly-available on-line searchable information, the OurFamilyWizard // Avirat // Kissoon ~ Volker ~ (Bryan Altman, COO) company Avirat, Inc. and apparently related companies featuring international sales seems a classic case, and I realized would not fit on that New Home Page without sinking it under too much text. So, here’s a post instead…As has been pointed out before by myself on this blog, and some but not enough others, such as Anne Stevenson, esp. in New England states (CT, MA; see sidebar widget for more links), the organization “AFCC” doesn’t even acknowledge chapters in a majority of the United States of America, where its home base is, and where, apparently, it started, it says in 1963, but available evidence doesn’t really show, before 1975 if legality is taken into account.  This situation was also reported in the 1990s by others (Liz Richards of Anandale VA esp. on the website “NAFCJ.net,” Marv Bryer by way of a home-made appearance (but very detailed) “johnnypumphandle.com” report, including but not limited to on the unregistered status of AFCC and as involves then anti-trust attorney Richard Fine (who did an 18-MONTH stint in solitary coercive confinement in the Los Angeles men’s jail after reporting conflicts of interests in Los Angeles County, unconstitutional payments of judges’ benefits by the county after payment was supposed to have been moved to the state level and, notably for the interests of THIS blog, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s failure to distribution millions of dollars of already collected child support to the proper recipients — the households in which the children lived, typically at this time mothers.  (“Silva v. Garcetti”  At the time the D.A. was Gil Garcetti.  Now his son Eric is Mayor of Los Angeles…)…And I see they have just opened another “Family Justice Center” (Featured on “LAMAYOR” home page) in Los Angeles, ye old “one-stop shop” model which began back in 2003 in “Enron by the Sea,” San Diego.  Supposedly, this will reduce domestic violence. So long as the family law system continues, they should have plenty of victims to justify continued funding and this fiscal model, startup notably under President George W. Bush administration with major DOJ funding… Page link (see next two images also). “unveiled” just this past week! (Jan 11, 2018)

Los Angeles Family Justice Center, under Mayor Eric Garcetti, just opened. Catch the verbiage (fine-print) here or on the website. Public/private one-stop, partnership, co-located, multi-agency, etc.

It appears that operations “may” (I add the word “may” for my own disclaimer) have been ongoing for DECADES unregistered right out of county courthouses or judicial departments; that is private business being run from public buildings without notifying the citizens of the state, or the Secretary of State. Individuals who did this, routinely, and got caught, could be prosecuted — but when a single association or its chapters involving networks of judges, strengthened by cooperation with several (not just one or two) professional judicial or court administrator membership associations — not to mention heavyweights like the “National Center on State Courts” or the “National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges” — not to mention State and even the American Bar Associations and, at points, the American Psychological Association (and its various state and other chapters) who is going to prosecute?

Who, to date, has not already been compromised or involved?  And with this level of organization — even with AFCC’s membership, either by its own claim, or common sense (basic math on the numbers of family courts throughout the US, when typically it’s about one per county: how many counties in all 50 states?), NOT involving the majority of judges within the country, how would other nonmember judges (not to mention, family law attorneys), that is, the majority, organize with the District Attorneys (who decide whom to prosecute based on many different factors) preside fairly over any such case even if they wanted to?  The focus has been on herding more and more “subject matter jurisdiction” (such as represented by the AFCC-member-led “Unified Family Courts” agenda, spearheaded out of the UBaltimore School of Law therapeutic jurisprudence-promoting “CFCC”) loyal adherent, Barbara A. Babb.  Effectively, unifying subject matter jurisdiction intends to and apparently does steer cases (traffic) to venues where a member judge is likely to be the presiding judge, with rules-setting authority.

Since 2015, it seems (per their job description seeking to fill the position), Ms. Babb is current editor-in-chief of the Family Court Review.  The Family Court Review, I established by quoting it, is by definition the voice and a mouthpiece of AFCC and must promote member interests) into venues and named courts whose dockets they can control?

Meanwhile, as to compliance with state laws (and the IRC — Internal Revenue Code), AFCC is not itself even legally registered as a corporation in Wisconsin, where its HQ is, And it hasn’t been for years….  A chapter of itself is — but not the “parent” corporation. (Google “Wisconsin Business Entities Search” and look for yourself…).


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(“Say no to SB 557,” cont’d.) Local Connections and Faith-Focused OVW Grants: “All in the Family”– but Whose?

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This post is: “(“Say no to SB 557,” cont’d.) Local Connections and Faith-Focused OVW Grants: “All in the Family”– but Whose? (Published 6-5-2011, with case-sensitive short-link ending “-J1”)

Seriously, now …..

 

What did a District Attorney, a City Attorney, and a Republican Faith-Family-Marriage-Fatherhood-pushing President have in common? In 2003, or since?

(Besides an urge to jumpstart an alliance of

One-Stop Family Justice Shops Centers)

 

BUSH:  Family of Secrets (by Russ Baker)

Russ Baker shows that Decision Points is no candid memoir.

Investigative journalist Russ Baker updates what he uncovered in Family of Secrets about the Bushes with his responses to the former President’s best-selling book. In sum, Bush started a war under false pretenses, allegedly left the cockpit because of substance abuse, got fabricated religion in order to keep power, desired to invade Iraq even before his presidency, and works to set up his brother Jeb for the Presidency. Baker finds the Bush Family political system to be a brilliant con job, benefiting large wealthy interests, and being continued by Obama.

Russ Baker’s website       ”

Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, America’s Invisible Government, and the Hidden History of the Last Fifty Years  [Interview]

(note:  I don’t have this book.  But my work here, continues to run across the Bush brand of religion influence and its infiltration of the legal, judicial, etc. systems).

Or,

The Family:  The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power” by Jeff Sharlett:

(from Harpers article 2003 by author.  Note:  The President’s Family Justice Center Initiative (below) began in 2003)

Ivanwald, which sits at the end of Twenty-fourth Street North in Arlington, Virginia, is known only to its residents and to the members and friends of the organization that sponsors it, a group of believers who refer to themselves as “the Family.” The Family is, in its own words, an “invisible” association, though its membership has always consisted mostly of public men. Senators Don Nickles (R., Okla.), Charles Grassley (R., Iowa), Pete Domenici (R., N.Mex.), John Ensign (R., Nev.), James Inhofe (R., Okla.), Bill Nelson (D., Fla.), and Conrad Burns (R., Mont.) are referred to as “members,” as are Representatives Jim DeMint (R., S.C.), Frank Wolf (R., Va.), Joseph Pitts (R., Pa.), Zach Wamp (R., Tenn.), and Bart Stupak (D., Mich.). Regular prayer groups have met in the Pentagon and at the Department of Defense, and the Family has traditionally fostered strong ties with businessmen in the oil and aerospace industries. The Family maintains a closely guarded database of its associates, but it issues no cards, collects no official dues. Members are asked not to speak about the group or its activities.

The organization has operated under many guises, some active, some defunct: National Committee for Christian Leadership, International Christian Leadership, the National Leadership Council, Fellowship House, the Fellowship Foundation, the National Fellowship Council, the International Foundation. These groups are intended to draw attention away from the Family, and to prevent it from becoming, in the words of one of the Family’s leaders, “a target for misunderstanding.”

Suharto reputedly involved, that he engaged in anti-Communist massacres didn’t seem to matter…Search “Suharto” and “Somalia” here (interview):

“The Family’s devoted membership includes Congress members, corporate leaders, generals, foreign heads of state, dictators. The longtime leader, Doug Coe, was included in Time Magazine’s 2004 list of the twenty-five most influential evangelicals in America. “

The connected, the powerful, the very wealthy, the dishonest, the means-justifies-the-ends crowd.  I am not being facetious at all by placing these two books here in preface to protesting the expansion of a “National” (and planned INTERnational) Family Justice Center Alliance.  I am alerting us to question exactly which “families” are referred to her, and not to be fooled about the underlying intents.  Look at who is sponsoring the movement!

 

OK, let’s look back to the West Coast Connections and Family of Inter-connected politicians, including some who are indeed Family to each other.  

 

DA = Alameda County Family Justice Center — headed up originally by someone with real “family” connections, til she began running for County Supervisor,

a post she got, though the retiring supervisor endorsed her opponent.  Her husband just happens to be (presently) California State Treasurer, previously State Attorney General.  Later in the post, more on this process is discussed.  Mr. Gwinn & startup of the San Diego Family Justice Center has been addressed (in part) in earlier posts towards the end of May, 2011, and the topic itself is not exactly a new one to my blog.

 

ex-CA  = San Diego County Family Justice Center

President = well, he was always into promoting Family.

 

Let’s Get Honest (that’s me) generally looks behind the scenes at funding and organizational histories of new Initiatives, Institutes, Centers, Movements, and other Projects proposed by those with political connections to better serve those without them, whose lives will be used to justify whichever project is next.

Right now, it seems that the Family Justice Center Alliance is proudly endorsed by the OVW (White House) starting back in 2003, and up and running.  How the first two got up and running is a bit debatable.  Used to these, I ignored it for a while, until I ran across CA SB 557.

 

California’s SB 557 has been passed by Senate and is awaiting in Assembly

Here is some of the voting and excerpts — plus my comments

The California Bill SB 557 is to streamline and authorize the Family Justice Center Model.  It’s whizzing by committees, and as we speak, was read in the Assembly June 2, and being held at the Assembly Desk. Right now, per “aroundthecapitol.com,”

Votes
and
Last Action last week.  This bill is indeed moving.  Remember that one of the Centers (Alameda County) boasted originally as its first director, the then-state Attorney General, and this person is now State Treasurer – Bill Lockyer.  He also was previously Sen. Pro-Tem. fighting with the Governor for collective bargaining rights for the courts.  His name is on the 1997 Lockyer-Isenburg Trial Court Funding Act, described as:

I am pleased to send you the enclosed Resource Manual for the Lockyer-Isenberg Trial Court Funding Act of 1997 (Assembly Bill 233). Passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor last fall, this landmark legislation will take effect on January 1, 1998. Under the new law, funding of the trial courts will be consolidated at the state level to ensure equal access to justice throughout California.

Over the last several months, the Judicial Council and the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC), along with the California State Association of Counties and the Department of Finance, have worked together to familiarize the state’s judges, court administrators, and county executives with this historic new funding law. As part of that process, we are presenting this Resource Manual to assist you in understanding and implementing the new law.

There aren’t too many places in California politics, or its recent history, [SF performing Gay Marriage v Schwarzenegger] that one can go without finding the imprint of Mr. Lockyer.[Pension issues]

So I’m just wondering whether the relatively fast passage of this SB 577 was affected by the legislature’s knowledge (it’s obvious) that his wife was the former CEO of this grants-grabbing initative.  And that the local D.A., who helped get this wife installed, was recently in Washington, D.C., lobbying with the OVW director for it . . . ..

The former CEO of the Alameda COunty Justice Center just so happens (yeah….) to be his third wife. Now she is County Supervisor, even though the retiring supervisor endorsed her opponents, characterized as “having more experience than [Ms. Davis-Lockyer] was alive.”  The race was also locally characterized as having funding more equivalent for a race for Senator (around $2 million, though don’t quote me on that).  Perhaps that’s next . . . .
I wonder what might happen if they all opposed this center on the basis of, has it produced results — would the legislature have the courage?
  • 06/02/11: In Assembly. Read first time. Held at Desk.
As introduced February, 2011 (not current version, excerpts:)
This bill would authorize a city, county, or city and county to 
establish a multiagency, multidisciplinary family justice center to
assist victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, elder abuse, and
human trafficking, to ensure that victims of abuse are able to
access all needed services in one location and to enhance victim
safety, increase offender accountability, and improve access to
services for victims of crime, as provided. The bill would permit the 
family justice centers to be staffed by law enforcement, medical, 
social service, and child welfare personnel, among others.

About privacy of information:

The bill would authorize a family justice center to share
information [WITH WHOM — each other?] pursuant to an informed consent process, as provided. The bill would authorize the National Family Justice Center Alliancesubject to certain limitations, to maintain nonidentifying, aggregate  data on victims receiving services from a family justice center and 
the outcomes of those services.

The bill would provide immunity from  civil liability to staff members of the center for information shared with others based on an established client consent procedure, provided that the center has a formal training program with mandatory
training for all members, as specified.

There are so many issues with this (again, original version) its hard to know where to start.  But those familiar with the history of the founder of this system can see why (he/they) might have addressed specific issues, including civil liability for sharing info.

(c) For purposes of this title, family justice centers shall be
defined as multiagency, multidisciplinary service centers where 
public and private agencies assign staff members on a full-time or 
part-time basis in order to provide services to victims of** domestic
violence, sexual assault, elder abuse, or human trafficking from one
location in order to reduce the number of times victims must tell
their story, reduce the number of places victims must go for help,
and increase access to services and support for victims and their
children. Staff members at a family justice center may be comprised 
of, but are not limited to, the following: 

**First of all, public agencies are on the public payroll.

Child victims and parents coming for help are quite likely to have business before some arm of the courts where any member of those public agencies may have a built-in conflict of interest in the case.  Consider, if it has to do with guardianship of a child, child support, or other issues.  When it comes to private agencies— (private organizations, individuals, or “agencies” — what is a private “agency”?)  there are issues of where does the law protect the victims seeking help by accountability to any of these private members.  The “consent process” has to be taken with a grain of salt — a person in desperate circumstances such as these crimes, may not comprehend what it is they are signing away at the time, their emphasis is survival.  Anyhow, potential staff might include:

(1) Law enforcement personnel.
(2) Medical personnel.
(3) District attorneys and city attorneys.  {{note:  = who created the 1st & 2nd justice centers in CA….1 of each. 

(Tell me — for what purpose might a CITY attorney have any business in a family justice center?  )

(4) Victim-witness program personnel.
(5) Domestic violence shelter service staff.
(6) Community-based rape crisis, domestic violence, and human
trafficking advocates.
(7) Social service agency staff members. 
(8) Child welfare agency social workers. 

(hey — are there still readers (active in this field as advocate, or survivor parent) who don’t understand, yet, that there are FEDERAL incentives to the states for

any number of actions which might quite well involve a social service agency staff member, or a child welfare agency social worker — such as adopting out, fostering out, or

declaring a child in need of services that may not, really, be in need of services.  There are program funds for these activities.  What about program administrators of such funds?

and so forth…..)

(9) County health department staff.
(10) City or county welfare and public assistance workers. 

(Translation:  People administering TANF funds.  We already have become aware that the fatherhood movement has a significant interest in portions of Title IV-D (welfare) finances going towards facilitating increased “noncustodial parent” (i.e., possibly perpetrator) access.  No.   Uh-uh, No.  )

(11) Nonprofit agency counseling professionals.
(12) Civil legal service providers.
(13) Supervised volunteers from partner agencies.
(14) Other professionals providing services.

Huh….

Excerpts from “Analysis” of this bill again specifies already-existing justice centers by name and requests they expand who gets served:

This bill authorizes the City of San Diego, the City of Anaheim, the County of Alameda, and the County of Sonoma to create a two-year pilot project for the establishment of a  family justice center, as specified. This bill defines the Family Justice Center model in the  law and expands the reach for whom services will be provided to include, not only victims of domestic violence, but also victims of officer-involved domestic violence, sexual assault, elder abuse, stalking, cyber-stalking, cyber-bullying, and human trafficking.

(The cyber-stalking (stand-alone) and cyber-bullying provisions would just about make the average high school student eligible for services…)

This bill also allows for the FJCs to be staffed by, among others, law enforcement, medical, social service, and child welfare personnel.

This bill provides that victims of crime will not be denied services based solely on the grounds of criminal history. 

(don’t quite know where to file that last statement. )

 

Votes so far, if you live in California and in any of these are your legislators:

03/29/11  Sen. Committee on Public Safety: 6-0 (1 not voting) — PASS
Motion: Do pass as amended, and re-refer to the Committee on Judiciary.

Ayes – 6 Anderson, Hancock, Harman, Liu, Price, Steinberg / Noes – 0 / Absent, Abstention or Not Voting – 1 Calderon
  • 05/10/11 – Sen Judiciary: 5-0 pass as amended (see site)

Ayes – 5 Blakeslee, Corbett, Evans, Harman, Leno

  • 05/26/11 Sen Appropriations 9-0 — PASS as amended

Alquist, Emmerson, Kehoe, Lieu, Pavley, Price, Runner, Steinberg, Walters

  • 06.01/11 – Senate Floor 39-0 (1 absent abstain or not voting – Emmerson)

Alquist, Anderson, Berryhill, Blakeslee, Calderon, Cannella, Corbett, Correa, De León, DeSaulnier, Dutton, Evans, Fuller, Gaines, Hancock, Harman, Hernandez, Huff, Kehoe, La Malfa, Leno, Lieu, Liu, Lowenthal, Negrete McLeod, Padilla, Pavley, Price, Rubio, Runner, Simitian, Steinberg, Strickland, Vargas, Walters, Wolk, Wright, Wyland, Yee

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Some of the Senate Amendments (strikeouts, replacement):

The bill would prohibit victims of crime from
being denied services at a family justice center solely on the
grounds of criminal history and would prohibit a criminal history 
search from being conducted during the client intake process.

prior sections a, b, & c, were struck through.

Sections e, f:

(f) Each family justice center shall develop policies and  procedures, in collaboration with local community-based crime victim
service providers and local survivors of violence or abuse, to ensure coordinated services are provided to victims and to enhance the 
safety of victims and professionals at a family justice center who participate in affiliated survivor-centered support or advocacy 
groups. All family justice centers shall maintain a formal client feedback, complaint, and input process to address client concerns
about services provided or the conduct of any family justice center professionals, agency partners, or volunteers providing services in a
family justice center. 

 

No criminal background checks to be run, but protection for victims & professionals in the center who participate in affiliated survivor centered support or advocacy groups (off-grounds?  How would this be done).  This seems to address in part the situation Casey Gwinn’s employee Josie Clark sued him over (see recent posts).

Formal feedback good:  (don’t recall that this even entered the original version — feedback fro participants…)

WELL, THERE WE HAVE IT.  IT”S PASSED WITH FLYING COLORS, SO FAR, AND IS SITTING ON THE ASSEMBLY FLOOR.   MAYBE IT WILL PASS IN TIME FOR FATHER’S DAY, BUT I HOPE NOT.   See “District Attorney Dubious Doings.”   and re:  nepotism, cronyism, racism:

Politics in this famous SF Bay Area, at least Alameda County are, in one blog I read — while probably not equal to Chicago’s or New York’s, known for:

Nepotism, Cronyism, Racism and Corruption

The Alameda County District Attorney’s office is also famous for nepotism, cronyism, racism and corruption. D.A. Orloff, did not start this tradition, but he certainly has continued it.

{{Quote is from a blog post dated July 2009,

The Alameda County District Attorney’s office is also famous for nepotism, cronyism, racism and corruption. D.A. Orloff, did not start this tradition, but he certainly has continued it.   . . . By hiring Chris Bates and Lisa Lockyer, Orloff had the kids of both the local assemblyman, Tom Bates, and the local Senator, Bill Lockyer (later became the Attorney General of the State of California), working for him. He already had the local Congressman’s kid, Jeff Stark, working for him, and he prmoted Stark.

And one of the articles I drew off in reporting this:

Attorney General’s Wife. with no previous experience, Gets Top Job in Alameda County Domestic Violence Center

Steve White 14 Dec 2006 15:36 GMT

 This is a very short article and commentary on Nadia Lockyer, wife of Attorney General Bill Lockyer, being givena a $90,000 per year job as Executive Director of the Alameda County Family Justice Center, a job for which she seems to have no special qualifications. The article also questions the propriety of her employment, considering her husband’s position.

The Alameda county Family Justice Center is one of meny local agencies funded by the Federal Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women, (OVW). 

{{more on this, below — LGH…}}

The center is relatively new, and there was a recent search for the Execuitve Director. Eventually, Nadia Davis Lockyer was given the top job, which pays about $90,000 per year. (initial pay was $65,000 but extra money was found to make it $90,000. I am researching where the extra money came from)

Selection process was all for show, Nadia Lockyer is DA staff

Steve White 01.Jan.2007 15:47

I have just received a letter from the Alameda County District Attorney’s office which indicates Nadia Lockyer is an employee of that office.

The letter goes on to respond to my Public Records Act request for all info relaated to her hiring. The DA’s office claims all the info is exempt from disclosure, except for a brochure announcing the job. So they sent me a copy of that announcement.

The denial of information was expected. What was surprising to me is that Lockyer is an employee of the DA’s office. I thought the Family Justice Center was an independent entity which worked with the DA, not a subordinate office. 

and, more, after he contacted the OVW for grant applicant guidelines:

[he]  clicked the first link, which as the first page of a book on guidelines and rules for Federal graants, then went to the chapter entitled “Conflicts of Interest

Reading that, it seems pretty clear Lockyer violated the Federal law, and presumably this is why they went through the big show of pretending to use an objective process to pick his wife for the job.      These folks knew they were doing something shady from the start.     Further evidence is that everyone involved is trying to duck my Public Records Act requests for more information. More on that in my next post 

Phony Statistics put out by ACFJC

Steve White 25.Sep.2007 13:37

The first week of September, 2007, the ACFJC announced a large grant from the US Department of Justice, and in the grant announcement, which naturally everyone was very happy about, they added some statistics on how much good the ACFJC had done so far.

The stats were impressive. They claimed “Since it’s launch” the ACFJC had reduced Domestic Violence (DV) deaths from 26 to 6 in 2005, and, they had provided services to “20,000 victims and their families”.

Both claims were untrue. I checked with the Alameda County Public Health Department, and it turned out there has been a very long term decline in DV deaths, from 26 in 1996, eleven years back, to 6 in 2005. The Center opened in the last half of 2005, in August.

MORE (9/2007) INFO FROM Steve White “Boatbrain” on the ACFJC fudging (lying) on its statistics, in addition to improper appointment of CEO.  Please read entire article we find further conflicts of interest and very disturbing dishonesty, reminiscent of the San Diego outfit:

The Alameda County Family Justice Center is an agency set up two years back as “one-stop shopping” for victims of domestic violence.

It was started by a Federal program to centralize several different types of services, (prosecutors, counselors, emergency housing) to DV victims. There are about 15 around the US, the Alameda center has been open two years as of August 2007.

I have already published, on Indymedia, an account of how the ACFJC hiring of Nadia Lockyer, the wife of then Attorney General Bill Lockyer, a Executive Director of ACFJC was rigged by Nancy O’Malley, the Chief Assistant DA in the County.

Now, it appears the ACFJC is involved in other nefarious activities.

Recently, the ACFJC received another US Dept. of Justice grant, and the award was announced on their website. 

The announcement gave several detailed claims for the achievements of the ACFJC, two of which seemed unlikely to me to be true:   Since I knew the ACFJC was only open a bit over four months in 2005, I knew there was no logical basis for attributing all the 2005 decline to their actions.

But more than that, the reduction from 26 to 6 in one year struck me as extreme and improbable. That is an almost 80% reduction, too good to be true.

So, I called the Alameda County Public Health Department to try to get DV death rates, and called the office of the County Supervisor quoted in the article, Alice Lai-Bitker, to ask about the number.

My conversations with Public Health and Supervisor Lai-Bitker’s staff confirmed my suspicions. Too good to be true was exactly right. To get a death toll of 26 in the County, you have to go back to 1996, nine years before the ACFJC existed. There has been a steady long term decline in DV deaths since then.

The number for 2004, the year right before the ACFJC opened, was 11. Obviously, 6 in 2005 is a lot better than 11 in 2004, but there is a problem in the stats, in that Nancy O’Malley, the effective head of the ACFJC, is also the head of the DV death reporting team for the County, so she can fudge the figures.

I realize, one would not think deaths can be fudged. You are either dead or you or not. But, by using varying protocols for what the death was caused by, there is some maneuvering room for this. I am contacting the DV death reporting trainer for the state to try to nail this down.

All that aside, the point is, as far as attibuting the reduction in DV deaths to ACFJC, that was an extremely misleading claim, and I would argue deliberately misleading

He goes on . . . . after challenging the “20,000 victims and their families served…”

It seems much more likely they deliberately lied, to justify more funding in the future.

The County Administrator, Susan Muranishi, who was the highest paid employee of the County, a few years back, at $231,000 per year, is also quoted in the press release, expressing approval of the ACFJC and the grant.

I called her office to try to get documents to indicate what numbers ACFJC has been giving the County to justify the County’s funding. The receptionist there claimed they did not have any figures, and I had to contact ACFJC. If this was true, it seems to indicate a severe lack of oversight. No reports to the County Admin from the Center? How does Ms. Muranishi know how the County’s money is being spent? I doubt there are no reports, and intend to push them to release them, to see if there are any false numbers in the official accountings. Ditto for the Feds, who I have also requested info from.


((i))

That kind of reporting is why we most definitely need INDEPEPENDENT media centers, and pesky bloggers like myself and Mr. White (wonder what happened to is FOIA and Public Records requests on the ACFJC…

In 2010, here’s an article (and comments) on Ms. Davis-Lockyer running for county supervisor, replacing one of the retiring supervisors who, improperly, voted in Nancy O’Malley (per indymedia Steve’s writing).  WHat goes around comes around.  Again, for non-Californians, this is about how policies get institutionalized in practice, regardless of what results they produce — including initiatives, collaborations, institutes, coalitions, and so forth.  This Family Justice Center seems symptomatic of what’s wrong, from both this end and (below) the White House end.

WHITE HOUSE PRESS RELEASE ON FAMILY JUSTICE CENTERS  – AND GWB DECLARES OCTOBER DOMESTIC VIOLENCE MONTH (in 2003).

I have a general rule of thumb.  If it has the word “families” on it — it has a fatherhood (and possibly governmentally endorsed) / faith influence.  This appears to be the case with the FAMILY justice centers, as it did with the FAMILY violence prevention fund of SF (see recent posts).  After all, US is just one big “family” and everyone in power is there to serve and protect the little vulnerable ones among us, right?

The “Family Justice Center” model is absolutely federally funded, and here is the October (DV awareness month, or as I put it, DV Industry Awareness month) October 8, 2003 White House Press Release:

This offers $20 million of funding to establish 12 centers.  The emphasis is Under One Roof (after all, the service providers are just one big happy family, right?) and with a particular emphasis on including Faith Based Initiatives, says our former Prez:

http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov
Contact: Angela Harless
202-307-070

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT TO SPEARHEAD PRESIDENT’S
FAMILY JUSTICE CENTER INITIATIVE TO BETTER SERVE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIMS

     WASHINGTON, D.C. — Attorney General John Ashcroft today announced the Justice Department will lead a $20 million-dollar program to develop comprehensive domestic violence victim service and support centers in 12 communities across the country. The unprecedented pilot program, the President’s Family Justice Center Initiative, will make a victim’s search for help and justice easier by bringing professionals who provide an array of necessary services together under one roof. President Bush unveiled the initiative earlier today at a White House event formally declaring the month of October as “Domestic Violence Awareness Month.”

“Domestic violence is unacceptable, and this Administration is determined to end the vicious cycle of violence,” said Attorney General John Ashcroft. “Our efforts across the federal government have made it possible for tens of thousands of women and their families to renew their hope, reclaim their dignity, change their lives and protect their children.”

{{HYPOCRITES!!}}

     The President’s Family Justice Center Initiative will provide comprehensive services for domestic violence victims at one location, including medical care, counseling, law enforcement assistance, social services, employment assistance, and housing assistance. The Department of Justice will award grants to 12 communities nationwide to develop Family Justice Centers. Communities will be encouraged to look to the family justice centers in pioneered in San Diego, California and Indianapolis, Indiana for the development and creation of their own centers.

{{Sounds like Casey Gwinn (note:  Republican) had a White House connection here…  Indianpolis, home of Sen. Evan Bayh, is prime “fatherhood” country.  Unbelievable…..  The Indiana “Child Services” (a.k.a. Child Support Services) government website directly solicits “Fathers and Families” to pursue grants, as well as notices CRC (Children’s Rights Council)…..  I doubt that the choice of these two cities was anything approaching accidental.  Who else (grassroots up) was starting Family Justice Centers, around the United States, at this time?}}

Justice Department efforts will be further supported by its partners from the Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Agriculture, Department of Defense, Department of Education, Department of Housing and Urban Development and Department of Labor.

{{So much for treating domestic violence as the criminal/legal issue it really is, with consequences, of course, across the spectrum of life, as crime does….}}

     “The President’s Initiative will provide communities with the resources designed to co-locate coordinated services to domestic violence victims into one facility,” said Office on Violence Against Women Director Diane M. Stuart. “The services provided by the Family Justice Centers will help victims pursue safe and healthy lives.”

     Family Justice Centers are designed to bring together advocates from non-profit, non-governmental domestic violence victim services organizations, law enforcement officers, prosecutors, probation officers, governmental victim assistants, forensic medical professionals, civil legal attorneys,chaplains and representatives from community-based organizations into one centralized location.

Involvement of the faith community is integral to the Family Justice Center Initiative, as well as to the President’s overall strategy to end domestic violence. The Justice Department, Department of Health and Human Services, and the Defense Department are coordinating their efforts to ensure that faith communities nationwide get the training and tools necessary to help domestic violence victims in their communities.

{{Chaplains, imams, and rabbis don’t lack the “tools” to stop wife-beating — or the ability to network — but the problem has been historically the desire to do so.  They are mandated reporters, too, and of child abuse.  GO ask “SNAP” about how well that goes….

{{Reading this now, and as a survivor of domestic violence which was rationalized through religion, though I never accepted that basis, — I understand, and believe I’m right about this — that this has a more sinister purpose than “helping” victims from the faith-based perspective.  Many of those victims that end up using the legal system went first to their spiritual perceived authority (translation, pastor, priest, etc.) and were ignored and the danger trivialized.  SOme of the perpertrators were those people at times.   Welcoming this group into these “centers” with open arms is simply wrong….but, how very “Bush”!!}}

     “The faith-based component of the Family Justice Center Initiative is critical to its overall success,” said Office of Justice Programs Assistant Attorney General Deborah J. Daniels. “Faith-based institutions are often the first place a domestic violence victim turns to for support and guidance.”

(and the last place they are about to find it — which has been documented repeatedly . . . .   )  Next steps, integrating the faith community into the system (2004 release)…

 

I got on the SB 557 kick, here, because I heard about it accidentally.  Accidentally, I happened to browse the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office Annual Report of 2010 (yeah, this is my “casual reading material” at times)… only to find that this San Francisco Bay Area [“East Bay”] county leadership was running up to the OVW and trying to sell legitimizing the  Family Justice Center” model  (see “Kicking Salesmanship Up a Notch” post)….

District Attorney Nancy O’Malley and the Alameda County DA’s Office are proud to announce the publication of the 2010 Annual Report.

We invite you to view this comprehensive report.

Alameda County District Attorney’s Office 2010 Annual Report (7MB PDF).

 

Because I’m familiar with the Justice Center idea already, I picked up on the graphics and mottos that also supported further promotion of it:  the 2nd page of the report is a full page photo of a child and parent(?):  “Justice isn’t served – – – til Crime Victims are.”  On the palms of their hands is written:  “I have the right to protection”   “I have the right to be heard.”

Compare: (graphic on banner of the Alameda County Family Justice Center reads, next to an icon showing scales carring heart & dove, plus two figures reaching for them)  “Justice isn’t served until victims are.”

Welcome to the Alameda County Family Justice Center

Welcome to the Alameda County Family Justice Center (ACFJC), a one-stop center for families experiencing domestic violence.

{{Domestic violence is a crime, and is committed by an agent.  Note the grammar change:  “families experience” it — no one actually DOES it.  The District Attorney’s Office is the office deciding which crimes to prosecute, and which NOT to prosecute, and doing so ethically and honestly.   District Attorneys offices in East Bay (and SF) counties have been experiencing multiple scandals recently, along with police departments… such as tampering with drug evidence and causing cases to be dropped, infighting during an election that resulted in an office fist-fight (Contra Costa County — nearby) and other serious problems, as well as having various members of their forces from time to time being prosecuted by employees or fellow colleagues on rape or other sexual harassment issues.  In this context, I don’t recall hearing a major grassroots call for centralized, one-stop services.}}

The ACFJC provides, under one roof, the services required by domestic violence victims and their families:

  • Crisis intervention, survivor support, and victim advocacy, incl “MISSSEY”motivating, inspiring, supporting and serving sexually exploited youth.
  • Legal assistance services
  • Medical care and mental health counseling for victims and children impacted by family violence
  • Employment assistance, and information and referral to other community services
  • Law enforcement investigation and prosecution of offenders

In the past, domestic violence victims often had to seek help from a fragmented, disjointed system of separate agencies offering related by frequently uncoordinated services.

 

I’m thinking diversity, rather than inbred centrality might be the better order of the day overall.  After all — was our country designed for efficiency or liberty?(But I’m talking, pre-Bush Dynasty there…..)

 

From the DA’s report, a segment:

5. Putting Victims First Page

Alameda County Family Justice Center 22

Domestic Violence Unit 23
Restitution Unit 24

Victims’ Rights & Services 25

Marsy’s Law 25

Victim -Witness Assistance 26

AND . . . .

Legislative Initiatives . . . p. 33

Under the leadership of District Attorney Nancy O’Malley, members of our staff frequently consult on, testify about and assist in drafting new legislation at a state- wide and national level. Working with lawmakers, we propose and support legislation that fits with our mission to champion the rights of victims and to keep our community safe.

…. such as (one of several — the others sound legitimate, although if parents are involved, it’ll bounce to family law and become “moot” point sooner or later) . . . .. . . .

 

SB 557: to define family justice centers in California law, thereby acknowledging the trend towards multi-disciplinary, multi-agency service delivery models for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking. This legislation is currently pending.

 

The TREND towards, meaning, the PUSH, enabled by BUSH towards . . . . . for these models.  (other than, since the 1980s, the Duluth Model has been pushing this also, called “Coordinated Community Response.”  So, how’d we say it’s going?

 

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