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An In-depth Examination of Batterer Intervention and Alternative Treatment Approaches for Domestic Violence Offenders

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 2018
17 pages
This National Institute of Justice (NIJ)-funded study provides an in-depth examination of Batterer Intervention Programs (BIPs) and an alternative treatment approach that used restorative justice (RJ) for domestic violence (DV) offenders.
The study was a content analysis that complements a National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded randomized controlled trial (RCT) in Salt Lake City (Utah) that used an intention-to-treat method of analysis to determine which treatment program had the lowest arrest outcomes, i.e., a traditional BIP or a BIP plus RJ approach called Circles of Peace (CP). The BIP was a 16-week group-based treatment approach for DV offenders only. It was largely didactic, rather than interactive, It focused on changing sexist attitudes so as to alter offender behavior. BIP plus CP provided 12 weeks of offender-only group sessions with RJ principles infused throughout to encourage offenders to focus on behavioral and attitudinal change. Following the initial 12 group sessions, offenders participated in four weeks of individual circles with a willing victim or victim advocate when the victim did not want to participate, along with family members or other support people, as well as trained community volunteers. The NIJ-funded study built on Part II of the NSF study, which focused only on cases of intimate partner violence. Part I of the NSF study compared BIP only and BIP plus CP for all DV cases (both intimate partner and family violence). The preliminary findings presented in this report show the recurring patterns across all data sources. They focus on attitudes about gender, family, and relationships; DV; offender treatment for DV; the criminal justice system; perceptions about causes of violence in the relationship; factors that influence offender participation in treatment; the infusion of RJ in treatment; victims and DV; and considerations for implementing DV offender treatment. 5 tables, 1 figure, and 10 references

Date Published: July 1, 2018