EXECUTIVE ORDER MJF 97-32

Coordinating Council on Domestic Violence


WHEREAS: domestic violence is a pervasive social evil that potentially can devastate its direct and indirect victims physically, emotionally, spiritually, and financially;

WHEREAS: the stability and success of the family unit is threatened by domestic violence as it victimizes the entire family, including the children, who learn through example that violence is an acceptable mode of coping with problems, dealing with stress, and asserting control over others;

WHEREAS: domestic violence has a negative impact on society in general, necessitating that millions of dollars be annually expended due to absenteeism and a loss of productivity at work and school, mental health and medical expenses, and the prosecution and/or administrative costs of criminal, quasi-criminal, and civil cases;

WHEREAS: the goal of eradicating domestic violence throughout Louisiana may only be achieved by increasing public awareness about the prevalence and harmfulness of domestic violence, implementing a firm public policy against domestic violence, and instituting an effective means of enforcement that encompasses law enforcement, social service agencies, and the courts; and

WHEREAS: to obtain this goal, the State of Louisiana must implement consistent, coordinated, and nonvictim blaming responses to incidents of domestic violence throughout the response process, beginning with law enforcement and continuing through victim protection and assistance services and the administration of justice process; therefore, the leadership of the State of Louisiana, including members of the Louisiana Legislature, the Executive Branch, and the Louisiana Supreme Court, together with representatives from law enforcement agencies, social service agencies, and special interest organizations that deal with domestic violence, must join together to develop a comprehensive coordinated response to domestic violence within the State of Louisiana;

NOW THEREFORE I, M.J. "MIKE" FOSTER, JR., Governor of the State of Louisiana, by virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution and laws of the State of Louisiana, do hereby order and direct as follows:

SECTION 1: The Louisiana Coordinating Council on Domestic Violence (hereafter" council") is established within the Executive Department, Office of the Governor.

SECTION 2: The duties of the council shall include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • A. examining the current responses of public agencies, the courts, and private organizations to situations of domestic violence;

  • B. identifying barriers, breakdowns, or areas for improvement among those who are charged with the public duty of responding to domestic violence;

  • C. making recommendations for improved cooperation and coordination between public agencies and those entities which volunteer or offer assistance and services;

  • D. identifying various means of promoting public awareness, and educating the public about domestic violence;

  • E. evaluating the effectiveness of Louisiana's statutory and jurisprudential laws on domestic violence; and

  • F. evaluating the model code on domestic and family violence prepared by the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.
  • SECTION 3: The council shall submit to the Governor a detailed written report containing the council's findings and recommendations on or before December 31, 1998.

    SECTION 4: The council shall consist of 20 members who shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the Governor. The membership of the council shall be selected as follows:

  • A. the president of the Louisiana Senate, or the president's designee chosen from the membership of the Senate;

  • B. the speaker of the House of Representatives, or the speaker's designee chosen from the membership of the House;

  • C. the executive director of the Office of Women's Services, Office of the Governor, or the executive director's designee;

  • D. the secretary of the Department of Social Services, or the secretary's designee;

  • E. the secretary of the Department of Corrections, or the secretary's designee;

  • F. a member of the Louisiana Supreme Court;

  • G. two district court judges, one who presides over a criminal docket and one who presides over a family/domestic docket;

  • H. three members of the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence;

  • I. a member of the Louisiana District Attorneys Association;

  • J. a member of the Family Law Committee of the Louisiana State Bar Association;

  • K. a member of the Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers;

  • L. a member of the Louisiana Council on Child Abuse;

  • M. a member of the Louisiana Trial Lawyers Association;

  • N. a member of the Louisiana Clerks of Court Association;

  • O. a member of the Louisiana Sheriff's Association;

  • P. a member of the Chiefs of Police Association; and

  • Q. a member of the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement.
  • SECTION 5: The chair shall be selected by the Governor from its membership.

    SECTION 6: The council shall meet at regularly scheduled intervals and at the call of the chair. A majority of the membership present shall constitute a quorum.

    SECTION 7: Support staff for the council shall be provided by the Department of Social Services.

    SECTION 8: Council members shall not receive compensation or a per diem. Nonetheless, contingent upon the availability of funds, members who are not an employee of the State of Louisiana or one of its political subdivisions, or an elected or appointed public official, may receive reimbursement from the Office of the Governor for actual travel expenses incurred, in accordance with state guidelines and procedures, and upon the approval of the commissioner of Administration.

    SECTION 9: All departments, commissions, boards, agencies, and officers of the state, or any political subdivision thereof, are authorized and directed to cooperate in the implementation of this Order.

    SECTION 10: This Order is effective upon signature of the Governor and shall continue in effect until amended, modified, terminated, or rescinded by the Governor, or terminated by operation of law.

    IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have set my hand officially and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of the State of Louisiana, at the Capitol, in the City of Baton Rouge, on this 26th of August, 1997.

    M.J. "Mike" Foster, Jr.
    Governor

    ATTEST BY
    THE GOVERNOR
    Fox McKeithen
    Secretary of State