Online Program

Treatment recommendations for misdemeanor offenders in batterer intervention programs

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Mary Ivory, Harrell Center for the Study of Family Violence, University of South Florida, College of Public Health, Tampa, FL
Martha L. Coulter, DrPH MPH MSW, Department of Community and Family Health, University of South Florida, College of Public Health, Tampa, FL
Cara de la Cruz, PhD, MPH, Chiles Center for Healthy Mothers and Babies, University of South Florida, College of Public Health, Tampa, FL
Background: The power and control model is the basis for treatment of misdemeanor domestic violence offenders. There is, however, no standard treatment length of individuals in batterer intervention programs (BIP), nor standard criteria on who should be placed in more intensive programs. In Hillsborough County, Florida, the program is divided up by levels II and III with level III being a more extensive program. Currently, offenders are evaluated for psychological and psychosocial problems before they can be enrolled in a level III treatment which can be longer in length and offer additional services than the level II programs. Methods: A review of studies (1990 - 2010) was conducted using EBSCOhost to identify factors that would assist in determining which perpetrators of domestic violence should be directly placed into more extensive BIPs. Results: Two factors were consistently found in the literature that determined the most severe risk to the victim: if the offender has previously completed a BIP and violence has increased since program completion and/ or a violent criminal history. For more severe cases of violence, treatments should target offense specific cognitive behavioral issues, such as coping skills. Conclusions: Based on the finding from the review, program guidelines were updated to reflect that in chronic, violent cases of domestic violence it is recommended that perpetrators be automatically enrolled in a more intensive BIP. These programs require a longer length of treatment more specifically addressing the persistent nature of the violence.

Learning Areas:

Program planning

Learning Objectives:
Identify individuals who are recommended to be in a more advanced batterer intervention program.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have spent the past 3 years researching issues related to domestic violence at the Harrell Center for the Study of Family Violence at the University of South Florida. Also, as of May 4th, 2013 I will have my MPH degree.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.