Praxis and OVW is working with Shelby County, one of three selected sites to create customized versions of The Blueprint for Safety to enhance their criminal justice response to domestic violence cases. Shelby County adopted their Blueprint for Safety on February 19, 2015.

Shelby County/Memphis, Tennessee Adopts Blueprint for Safety

Office on Violence Against Women demonstration site adopts policy to strengthen long-standing coordinated community response

“Thank you to Bea Hanson from the Department of Justice. We appreciate so much the fine work that the Blueprint has facilitated here in Shelby County. We have 8000 domestic violence cases in our area annually and the Blueprint helps us differentiate the cases of elevated risk and work collectively with all of the service providers to focus on the victims of these crimes.” – Mark H. Luttrell, Jr., Mayor of Shelby County

Launch speakers: Bill Oldham, Shelby County Sheriff; Edward L. Stanton, III, U.S. Attorney;
Amy Weirich, District Attorney General; Olliette Murry-Drobot, Family Safety Center Director;
Mark H. Luttrell, Jr., Mayor of Shelby County; A.C.Wharton, Jr., Mayor of Memphis;
Mike Ryall, Deputy Chief of Memphis Police Department; Lia Roemer, YWCA/Blueprint Coordinator;
and Kevin Reed, Judicial Commissioner.

On Thursday, February 19, 2015, the Shelby County Tennessee Mayor and City of Memphis Mayor joined county and city criminal justice agencies in announcing the adoption of their new collective Blueprint for Safety policy to enhance their response to domestic violence cases. Watch a news clip on this announcement.

Shelby County joins the cities of New Orleans and Duluth as the final of three national demonstration sites who have now adapted the successful St. Paul Blueprint for Safety. In 2011, these sites were selected as national sites for the Blueprint for Safety Adaptation Demonstration Initiative, a project of the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice, in partnership with Praxis International.

The Blueprint is a fully articulated plan for the coordination of the justice system response to domestic violence crimes, enhancing its capacity to stop violence, reduce harm and save lives. Read more…


Left to right: Lia Roemer, YWCA/Blueprint Coordinator; Bea Hanson, Principal Deputy Director, Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice; Denise Eng, Praxis International; Kevin Sweeney and Paula Tessier, OVW; Kristine Lizdas, Battered Women’s Justice Project; and Martha Lott, Shelby County Community Services.

Excerpts of comments by Bea Hanson, Principal Deputy Director, Office on Violence Against Women:

“Thank you to all of you for your leadership and commitment to ending violence against women. You are a shining example for the rest of the nation of what one community can do.

“As part of the demonstration initiative, Shelby County is on the leading edge of adapting a truly comprehensive interagency criminal justice response to violence against women. This isn’t easy to do. The Blueprint is an approach to domestic violence cases that coordinates agency responses around the shared goals of safety and justice, and closes the gaps between what victims of violence need and the ways the CJS is currently responding.

“The whole point of the Blueprint is to create this interagency response – from 911 to law enforcement to prosecution to parole – all working together to make sure we are keeping victims safe and holding offenders accountable. And this also incorporates the work of nonprofit victim service organizations. This coordination is really what is key to making huge inroads in the struggle against domestic violence.

“No one of us can do it ourselves – law enforcement can’t do it alone – prosecution can’t do it alone – victim services can’t do it alone. Its that coordination of us doing it together. While all of our jobs is to create safety, we do it from different vantage points. These different vantage points, all brought together, can be what it takes to really protect victims.”

In Shelby County, practitioners engaged in a three-year process of examining policies, observing practitioners at work, analyzing agency practices and forms, and conducting focus groups with battered women to create new practices.



Praxis, in partnership with the Battered Women’s Justice Project and Saint Paul Blueprint practitioners, provides technical assistance to the Blueprint Demonstration Sites as they adapt and implement their Blueprints.