Specialty court becomes first certified Level 1 Trauma-Informed court in Bexar County

SAN ANTONIO – A Bexar County court is one of only a few in the nation doing innovative trauma-informed work to rehabilitate offenders of family violence and now the court has a prestigious certification.

Reflejo Court, a specialty court that provides an intense 12-month program to first-time family violence offenders, has become the first in the county to receive a Level 1 Trauma-Informed Certification by the Ecumenical Center, the certifying entity for the South Texas Trauma Informed Care Consortium.

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Bexar County has the most domestic violence cases in the state.

Reflejo Court started in 2020 as a way to work with first-time offenders of family violence who also struggle with substance abuse.

So far, 96% of graduates have successfully avoided reoffending.

“We believe that the only way that we can bring the numbers of victims down is if we address the offender behavior, that’s the root,” County Court 13 Judge Rosie Speedlin Gonzalez said.

The court aims to break the cycle of violence by providing comprehensive support, including physical, psychological, and emotional assistance.

“We get them sober,” Gonzalez said. “We treat the trauma. We give them skills so that they don’t come back into the criminal justice system and do not re-offend.”

The new Level 1 Trauma-Informed Certification takes two years to complete and the court staff was able to do it in just under that time.

The CEO of the Ecumenical Center said it’s possible that the Reflejo Court is the only one in the country with the certification.

“It trains our staff to be sensitive to the experience as lived by the participants in our court,” Gonzalez said.

Now the court is moving forward in trying to get more individuals to participate and expanding the program.

“We need money to get this program at the juvenile level, because that’s where I think it will be the most effective,” Gonzalez said. “We break the cycle.”

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, we have a long list of resources for you. Just head to KSAT’s Domestic Violence webpage.

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