Treatment or diversion programs for perpetrators

Legislation should provide that if intervention, treatment or diversion programs (pretrial diversion programs are alternatives to prosecution which seek to divert offenders with no prior offences from traditional criminal justice processing into a program of supervision and services) are prescribed for perpetrators, the operators of such programs must work in close cooperation with survivor service providers to enable constant feedback from the complainant/survivor about the recurrence of violence. Legislation should provide that all sentences to alternative, treatment, or diversion programs are to be handed down only in cases where there will be continuous monitoring of the case by justice officials and survivor organizations to ensure the survivor’s safety and the effectiveness of the sentence.  Legislation should require that such alternative sentences be monitored and reviewed on a regular basis.  Legislation should require immediate reports to probation officers and police about recurring violence.

See: UN Handbook 3.11.6; The Toolkit to End Violence Against Women, p. 14

Example: the Criminalization of Violence against Women Law (2007) of Costa Rica (Spanish only) includes detailed conditions on when alternative sentences may be imposed, and on the alternatives which are available. Spain’s Organic Act 1/2004 of 28 December on Integrated Protection Measures against Gender Violence (2004) provides for suspension of certain penalties (under two years in jail) if the perpetrator participates in an intervention programme. (Article 35)

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