The County Launches A New Batterer's Intervention Program
Author: Robert Reyes
8/23/2019 5:10:00 PM
On September 1st the County will launch a new batterers’ treatment pilot program for offenders convicted of domestic violence.
Assembly Bill (AB) 372 authorized the counties of Napa, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and Yolo to offer an alternative evidence-based treatment program outside of the current legal requirements. In California, under current law, all persons convicted of a domestic violence offense must complete a 52-week batterers intervention treatment program. The law established in the 1990s has not changed significantly and prior research has shown that court mandated batterers intervention treatment has not reduced recidivism.
AB 372 will allow the authorized counties to introduce risk assessments and evidence-based or promising practices to the treatment of domestic violence offenders. The Probation Department took the lead, working with the District Attorney’s Office and local certified batterer treatment providers. Additionally, RISE https://www.riseslo.org/ and Stand Strong https://standstrongnow.org/ were consulted with on the treatment curriculum selection during the program’s development.
The County’s program will include a standardized curriculum applicable to both men and women. The STOP Domestic Violence curriculum has shown promising results in reducing domestic violence recidivism in several studies. Treatment length will consist of either a 26-week or 52-week program based on the person’s risk to recidivate as determine by a valid risk assessment tool administered by the Probation Department. Treatment groups will be based on risk so that high and low risk batterers do not co-mingle during treatment.
The opportunity to participate in this batterer intervention treatment pilot project is consistent with the Probation Department’s vision of being a leader in community corrections and improving public safety through evidence-based practices.