Mae C. Quinn


This paper seeks to inform current conversations about dedicated domestic violence courts by shedding light on Kross’s remarkable early efforts to treat domestic violence prosecutions differently from other criminal matters and handle them in a designated court part. The story of Kross’s Home Term Part – the first specialized criminal domestic violence court in New York and perhaps the United States—is an important chapter in the history of intimate violence policies in this country. Recognition of Home Term is crucial to any complete account and understanding of our criminal justice system’s renewed efforts at judicial innovation through specialized “problem-solving” courts. And although many practices of Home Term would be viewed as objectionable by modern standards, examining Home Term may also provide important insights for contemporary court reformers as they consider the future of domestic violence prosecutions.