For an example of detailed standards for program structure, accountability, curriculum and administrative guidelines, see Coalition for the Treatment of Abusive Behavior and Virginians Against Domestic Violence , “Virginia Standards for Batterer Intervention Programs,” revised August, 2010.
Example: A batterer’s intervention program which is provided only where sufficient services to complainant/survivors are funded; and where the program is consistently supervised by victim advocates for risks to the safety of the complainants/survivors.
CASE STUDY: Mandated court compliance in batterer intervention programs affects program completion and re-arrest rates.
A study of the court review process for men referred to batter intervention programs by the Domestic Violence Court in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, found that strict standards for compliance and immediate consequences for non-compliance increased attendance at and completion of the batterer intervention program. The study also concluded that completion of the program, coupled with the mandatory court review for compliance, lowered recidivism.
At the time of the study, about 20-30% of men arrested on domestic violence charges in Pittsburgh were referred to batterer intervention programs, but records indicated that many men did not, in fact, report to the program, and of those who did, nearly one-half failed to complete the program. For this study, the men who were referred to batterer counseling had to reappear in court in 30 days to verify their participation in the batterer intervention program, and again after 60 days to verify that they had completed the program. If the court did not receive evidence of compliance, or if evidence of non-compliance was received, a warrant for the arrest of the batterer was issued.
When there were immediate and sure consequences to non-compliance, the number of men who did not complete the program dropped from one-half to one-third. And, those who completed the program were half as likely to be re-arrested for assault as those not referred to the program.
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