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Effects of Domestic Violence Batterer Treatment on Domestic Violence Recidivism: The Chesterfield County Experience

NCJ Number
Criminal Justice and Behavior: An International Journal Volume: 30 Issue: 1 Dated: February 2003 Pages: 118-134
Jill A. Gordon; Laura J. Moriarty
Date Published
February 2003
17 pages
This study examined the influence of treatment of domestic-violence offenders on the subsequent recidivism rate for domestic violence.
The study population consisted of 248 male domestic violence offenders sentenced to Community Corrections Services (CCS) in Chesterfield County, VA, between January and December 1999. CCS (probation) is a sanction that allows the convicted offender to reside in the community while still under criminal justice supervision. A portion of these offenders (n=132) were ordered by the court to attend domestic violence treatment. Those sentenced to CCS without the mandatory domestic violence treatment comprised the nonequivalent experimental group in the quasi-experimental design. The dependent variable, recidivism, was defined as the likelihood of and number of rearrests and reconvictions for a domestic violence offense. The primary independent variable of interest was court-ordered domestic violence treatment; however, the study also considered the impact on recidivism of the following demographic characteristics: age, race, marital status, employment status, and education level. Other variables of interest related to offenders' criminal histories. The analysis found that treatment did not affect the recidivism rate; however, the number of treatment sessions attended was a significant factor in predicting domestic violence recidivism in the treatment group; successful completion of all treatment sessions reduced the likelihood of domestic violence rearrest and reconviction among those who received treatment. The nature of the treatment provider did not affect the recidivism rate. 5 tables and 8 references