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Let’s Get it Started!!!

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By Michael Silver, on May 14, 2014

Hello and welcome to, what I hope to be, an insightful view of my work at the Forsyth County, North Carolina District Attorney’s Office.  With the consent of the elected district attorney Jim O’Neill (my boss) I hope to blog about my role in this office as well as my work with the North Carolina Domestic Violence Commission and the Forsyth County Juvenile Crime Prevention Council.

But first, a quick disclaimer. There are laws and ethical rules which prevent me from disclosing certain facts and conversations about specific cases. Therefore, my blog posts will relate more to the things I have learned in the MPA@UNC program and how I am using those skills while engaging in my various responsibilities on both the state and local level.

As of the time I am writing this blog post there are a few interesting projects I am working on that are worth sharing. First, the Batterers Intervention Committee that I am a member of through the North Carolina Domestic Violence (DV) Commission has been busy. Earlier, we adopted our three core objectives that we want to complete this calendar year. The first objective involves amending legislation to close a loop-hole in domestic violence probation. I am sure I will be writing more on that later.

The second objective is to research and recommend a best practices DV offender lethality assessment tool. We want to make this tool available on the Council For Women website to encourage standardization of N.C. Administrative Code 01 NCAC 17.0704(c).

I used Russell Linden’s “Leading across Boundaries” and Kouzes and Posner’s “The Leadership Challenge” as a guide on how to start this project. First, I identified a person who could be a resource of information and guidance to help with the objective. After making initial contact, I drove to Asheville, North Carolina to meet with Kathleen Balogh, the Western Region Coordinator for the North Carolina Council for Women. We discussed the best ways, and the best people, to form a committee and discussed our goals and vision on how to accomplish this project. Balogh has over 18 years of experience in the area of domestic violence and she agreed to write an introductory email to introduce me to our key stakeholders. Having her endorsement was critical for me to establish credibility with our forming group.

Last Friday I emailed the key stakeholders we believed necessary to create our best practices tool. I was amazed at how fast the response to our invitation to join our state-wide committee came in. Currently, we are in the process of setting up a meeting to get started working!

Our third objective is to develop a core statement of outcomes to guide abuser treatment programs to the Batterers Intervention Committee mission and better allow for performance-based measurement of abuser treatment programs. We wanted to consult with professionals to help with this project and I suggested we start with the UNC School of Government. Professor Berner emailed us back and we are going to set up a conference call get guidance on our project.

As far as actual prosecuting, I am gearing up for a 5-19-14 trial week with some serious cases on the calendar. Also, and not to get too far ahead, I’m ready for the Governor’s Ball Music Festival in New York June 6th-8th! Outkast!

I’m looking forward to sharing more about my experiences this summer and welcome as much feedback as you want to give me.

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One Response to “Let’s Get it Started!!!”

  1. Stefanie Panke

    Thanks for sharing your work experiences. It is great to see how you connect the MPA curriculum, the School of Government faculty and your professional experience to achieve your goals. I am looking forward to reading your postings.

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