O.C.G.A. 19-13-30 - 19-13-34

O.C.G.A. 19-13-30 - 19-13-34 (2015)

§ 19-13-30 - State Commission on Family Violence

(a) The General Assembly finds and declares that violence in Georgia homes among family members accounts for many serious injuries, deaths, and extensive physical and emotional damage to children and adults. Family violence knows no economic or social barriers. The costs of family violence include misery and trauma for individuals and families and increased government spending for police services, criminal prosecutions, incarcerations, court personnel, foster care, public assistance, and juvenile corrections.

(b) The General Assembly has enacted comprehensive legislation addressing family violence, including provision for the issuance of temporary protective orders to protect individuals from violence. It has become evident that enforcement of these laws is inconsistent and an effective response to family violence will require a comprehensive community effort as well as coordination among the courts, prosecutors, law enforcement agencies, the correctional system, and public assistance and other service providers. The creation of a state commission and local task forces to combat family violence was highly recommended by the Georgia Commission on Gender Bias in the Judicial System.

§ 19-13-31 - Commission created; comprehensive state plan for ending family violence; establishment of community task forces

There is created a State Commission on Family Violence which shall be responsible for developing a comprehensive state plan for ending family violence. This plan shall include the initiation, coordination, and oversight of the implementation of family violence laws and the establishment in each judicial circuit of a Community Task Force on Family Violence. These task forces shall be supported by and work in collaboration with the state commission. The commission shall be assigned for administrative purposes only, as set out in Code Section 50-4-3, to the Department of Community Supervision.

§ 19-13-32 - Membership; terms; filling of vacancies; officers

(a) The State Commission on Family Violence shall consist of 37 members:

(1) Three ex officio members shall be the director of the Division of Family and Children Services of the Department of Human Services, the director of Women's Health Services in the Department of Public Health, and the Attorney General;

(2) Three members shall be members of the House of Representatives and shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives;

(3) Three members shall be members of the Senate and shall be appointed by the President of the Senate;

(4) The remaining members shall be appointed by the Governor as follows:

(A) One judge from each judicial administrative district;

(B) Three advocates for battered women recommended by groups which have addressed the problem of family violence;

(C) One person with expertise and interest regarding family violence involving persons who are 60 years of age or older;

(D) One person with expertise and interest regarding family violence involving children; and

(E) One representative from each of the following:

(i) The Administrative Office of the Courts;

(ii) The Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council;

(iii) The Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police;

(iv) The District Attorneys Association of Georgia;

(v) The State Board of Pardons and Paroles;

(vi) The Department of Community Supervision;

(vii) The Georgia Sheriffs' Association;

(viii) The Criminal Justice Coordinating Council;

(ix) The Solicitors Association of Georgia;

(x) The legal aid community;

(xi) The academic community;

(xii) Men Stopping Violence; and

(xiii) A former victim of domestic violence.

(b) The Governor, Speaker of the House, and President of the Senate shall appoint individuals who are specially qualified to serve on the commission by reason of their experience and knowledge of family violence issues.

(c) Members serving on July 1, 1996, or persons appointed to complete the unexpired terms of members serving on July 1, 1996, shall complete the terms for which they were appointed. The term of appointment shall be three years for initial successors to members appointed in accordance with the following provisions of subsection (a) of this Code section: paragraph (2) and divisions (ii), (iv), (vi), (viii), (x), and (xii) of subparagraph (E) of paragraph (4). The term of appointment shall be three years for the initial members appointed in accordance with subparagraphs (a)(4)(C) and (a)(4)(D) of this Code section. Initial successors to judicial members appointed to represent even-numbered judicial administrative districts shall be appointed for terms of three years. Two of the initial successors for members appointed in accordance with subparagraph (a)(4)(B) this Code section shall be appointed for terms of three years. The term of appointment shall be two years for initial successors to all other members except those serving ex officio. The letter of appointment shall set out the term for which each member is appointed. Thereafter, each member shall be appointed for a term of two years, and no member may serve more than two consecutive terms. Each member shall serve until the date his or her successor is appointed. All vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired term by an appointee of the original appointing official.

(d) The commission shall elect a chairperson, vice chairperson, and a secretary from among its members for terms of two years, and any member shall be eligible for successive election to such office by the commission.

§ 19-13-33 - Meetings; quorum; reimbursement for expenses

(a) The commission shall hold regular meetings at least once every calendar quarter. Special meetings may be called by the chairperson or a majority of the members of the commission. The commission shall meet at such times and at such designated places in the state as it may determine.

(b) A quorum for transacting business shall be determined by the members of the commission.

(c) The members of the commission may be reimbursed for expenses incurred while conducting the business of the commission from public or private grants, devises, or bequests received by the commission.

§ 19-13-34 - Powers and duties of commission

(a) The commission shall have the following duties:

(1) To study and evaluate the needs, priorities, programs, policies, and accessibility of services relating to family violence throughout this state;

(2) To evaluate and monitor the adequacy and effectiveness of existing family violence laws, including the response of the present civil and criminal legal systems;

(3) To initiate and coordinate the development of family violence legislation, as necessary;

(4) To monitor the implementation and enforcement of laws, regulations, and protocols concerning family violence;

(5) To make recommendations for education and training to ensure that all citizens and service providers, including but not limited to members of the judiciary, law enforcement personnel, and prosecuting attorneys, are aware of needs relating to family violence and of services available;

(6) To develop models for community task forces on family violence;

(7) To provide training and continuing education on the dynamics of family violence to members of the commission where appropriate and necessary;

(8) To report annually to the General Assembly during its existence; and

(9) To develop standards to be utilized by the Department of Community Supervision in the certification and regulation of family violence intervention programs.

(b) The commission shall have the following powers:

(1) To write and disseminate reports and recommendations concerning family violence to the Governor, the General Assembly, and the community;

(2) To accept public or private grants, devises, and bequests;

(3) To enter into all contracts or agreements necessary or incidental to the performance of its duties; and

(4) To hold meetings and public hearings and to conduct studies, collect data, or take any other action the commission deems necessary to fulfill its responsibilities.