Family Justice Center Opens Mock Courtroom Amidst 10th Anniversary

  • Group pic of Regina D'Aquilla, Merilla Scott, James Nuttal, and LAPD Chief Michel Moore at Family Justice Center 10th anniversary.

    Partners in the Strength United Family Justice Center gather at a 10th anniversary event on Feb. 8, 2024. Left to right: Regina D'Aquilla, nurse program manager of the Dignity Health Center for Assault Treatment Services (CATS); Merilla Scott, Strength United executive director; James Nuttal, LAPD detective; and LAPD Chief Michel Moore, who later retired on Feb. 29. (David J. Hawkins / CSUN)

CSUN’s Strength United and its partners in the Family Justice Center recently unveiled its new mock courtroom, which will help victims of abuse, assault or domestic violence by giving them a chance to get accustomed to a court setting before they must testify.

The courtroom also serves as a training space for forensic nurse examiners, law enforcement, and others who have never testified or have little courtroom experience.

The Family Justice Center in Van Nuys co-locates advocates, police and others responsible for investigating crimes alongside our faculty, staff and students from social work and marriage and family therapy programs. This effort was a precursor to community policing, and it removes barriers to services, reduces negative experiences with governmental institutions and shifts focus to the emotional and social economic needs of victims.

The Family Justice Center is a partnership with CSUN’s Strength United, Dignity Health and the Los Angeles Police Department. Thanks to a grant from the Ahmanson Foundation, the mock courtroom was constructed to include a jury area, witness box, judge’s bench and podium for attorneys to address the jury.

Strength United is a chartered center of CSUN’s Michael D. Eisner College of Education, committed to ending the cycle of interpersonal violence and abuse.

The mock courtroom was available for tour on Feb. 8 during an event to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the Family Justice Center.

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