This study will provide an in depth content analysis to complement a National Science Foundation (NSF-funded randomized control trial of interventions for intimate partner offenders in Salt Lake City, Utah. An intent to treat method of analysis will be used to determine which of three treatment programs has the lowest arrest outcomes: Batterer Intervention Program (BIP), a restorative justice (RJ) approach called Circles of Peace (CP) and a conjoint treatment approach called Couples Conflict Group (CCG). The proposed study focuses on intimate partner cases in which the victim is willing to participate in treatment with the offender. Using a variety of data collection methods, this study will offer critical findings that go beyond what the NSF quantitative study will provide. Case record reviews, video recording of select treatment sessions, and interviews with offenders and victims, will allow the researchers to test emerging theories that CP and CCG may be viable alternatives to a BIP-only approach and to ensure that safety concerns are being addressed.
An estimated 225 male and female offenders (ranging in age, race, and ethnicity) will be randomly assigned to treatment (75 BIP only; 75 BIP plus-CP; 75 BIP plus-CCG). Initial and on-going assessments from the case records will be analyzed quantitatively and will be used to describe demographic and clinical characteristics of the sample. A content analysis will be conducted on the case session notes, video recordings, and interview transcriptions. Results from the three treatments in the proposed study will be combined with results from the NSF randomized controlled trial to determine which characteristics of the treatment process are associated with treatment outcomes. Both conventional statistics as well as a meta-regression approach will be used to test the effect of these variables. A cost-benefit analysis will also be conducted in order to understand the trade-offs that each treatment provides. Products from the proposed study will include interim and final reports, protocols, curricula, and a website for dissemination. Should the alternative approaches prove to be effective, the models would be disseminated and replicated.