This paper examines the efficacy of Connecticut’s batterer’s program on recidivism rates for male family violence offenders, through the use of a quasi-experimental research design with a propensity-matched comparison group.
Evaluations of male batterer interventions (e.g., BIPs) have produced mixed results, with many studies finding little or no positive effects and/or suffering from methodological shortcomings. This study attempted to overcome many of these shortcomings by employing a quasi-experimental research design with a propensity-matched comparison group to test the effectiveness of Connecticut’s batterers’ program for serious male family violence offenders. Using court records, the authors calculated one-year recidivism effect sizes for program participants and further explored these effects while controlling for demographics, family violence risk, and criminal history, and they fund that the program participation group had significantly lower one-year arrest rates than the comparison group. While the effect size for any type of arrest was moderate, it remained when controlling for other variables known to influence recidivism such as age, race/ethnicity, family violence risk, and criminal history. These differences, however, applied to any type of new arrest but not specifically to family violence offenses. For family violence offenses, the program group had lower arrest rates, but these were not statistically significant. Overall, the authors’ findings show that court-mandated batterer programs can be effective in reducing general recidivism but is inconclusive with battering violence. Publisher Abstract Provided