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Becoming a Blueprint Community

An innovative approach in criminal justice intervention to protect victims of battering and end IPV ...
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The Blueprint Guide

A step-by-step resource to support communities in adapting and implementing the Blueprint for Safety ...
Blueprint Bulletin e-newsletter

The Blueprint Bulletin

e-newsletters to support criminal legal system practitioners and community-based advocates to adapt, implement, and monitor ...



The Blueprint for Safety, originally developed and implemented in Saint Paul, MN, is a prototype that can be used by any community hoping to link its criminal justice agencies together in a coherent, philosophically sound domestic violence intervention model. If you would like to speak with someone about how to become a Blueprint community, or would like more information on The Blueprint, email

In 2007 the Minnesota Legislature awarded a grant to the City of Saint Paul to write a comprehensive plan integrating the knowledge gleaned from thirty years of local and national research, demonstration projects, and practice into a “blueprint” for city and county agencies responding to misdemeanor and felony assaults. The Blueprint was created with the leadership of seven agencies and the district court bench in the City of Saint Paul, as well as through conversations and consultation with community members, advocates, researchers, and experts confronting this crime both locally and nationally.

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The Blueprint for Safety is written as a single document with a chapter for each agency within the criminal justice system. It is not a collection of good policies; it is a collective policy with each chapter linked inextricably to the whole. It uses interagency policies, protocols, case processing procedures, and information sharing to: (a) maximize the ability of the state to gain a measure of control over a domestic violence offender; (b) use that control to intervene quickly when there are new acts of violence, intimidation or coercion; and (c) shift the burden of holding the offender accountable for violence or abuse from the victim to the system. Learn more of the key features of the Blueprint for Safety in the following overview video:

Excerpted from a training video created by the Saint Paul Police Department. Used with permission.

The Blueprint is anchored in six foundational principles that we have identified as essential characteristics of intervention that maximize safety for victims of domestic violence and hold offenders accountable while offering them opportunities to change. The foundational principles are:

1. Adhere to an interagency approach and collective intervention goals
2. Build attention to the context and severity of abuse into each intervention
3. Recognize that most domestic violence is a patterned crime requiring continuing engagement with victims and offenders
4. Establish sure and swift consequences for continued abuse
5. Use the power of the criminal justice system to send messages of help and accountability
6. Act in ways that reduce unintended consequences and the disparity of impact on victims and offenders

There are two versions of The Blueprint; one specifically for the City of Saint Paul, and the other for communities across the country to use as a template or guide to create their own customized version. For more on the documents, click here.

If you would like to speak with someone about how to become a Blueprint community, or would like more information on The Blueprint, email

Blueprint in the news:


N.O.’s ‘Blueprint for Safety’ celebrates first year,October 29, 2015

Domestic Violence Prevention Program has Success in St. Paul, October 22, 2015

Domestic Violence Effort Nears Finish, March 24, 2012

Official launch of the Saint Paul Blueprint, April 2, 2010

Saint Paul has new Blueprint for tackling domestic violence, April 1, 2010

Saint Paul preps ‘Blueprint’ for better domestic violence response, April 1, 2010

Editorial: Take steps to curb domestic abuse, October 11, 2009




Comments from
past trainings:
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I feel proud to be part of a city and state that holds batterers accountable and is focusing on domestic violence with an intensive and intentional approach.

February 23, 2016

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Implementing the Blueprint is an organic process that needs to have everyone in the process understand his or her responsibility in relation to everybody else’s responsibility. It definitely  will save lives.

February 23, 2016

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Quote from Ellen Pence, founding director
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"It's important to recognize that victim advocates, although they may sometimes seem unreasonable, biased, and maybe even hostile toward the court system, are in fact the most valuable allies that administrators can find if they are truly trying to improve their system's response."

April 28, 2016