This report presents the results of an evaluation of the effectiveness of batterer programs and judicial monitoring at the Bronx Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Court.
This report by the Center for Court Innovation presents the results of an evaluation of the effectiveness of batterer programs and judicial monitoring at the Bronx Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Court. Findings from the evaluation include the following: batterer programs did not produce a reduction in re-arrest rates; no significant differences in re-arrest rates were found between offenders assigned to monthly monitoring schedules and those assigned to graduated monitoring schedules; judicial monitoring did not produce a reduction in re-arrest rates; the strongest predictors of recidivism were prior criminal history, young age, and more serious current arrest charges; and neither batterer programs nor judicial monitoring had any significant impact on victim reports of re-abuse. Data for the study were obtained through monitoring of all eligible offenders arraigned on a domestic violence misdemeanor, convicted of a violation, and sentenced to a conditional discharge through the Bronx Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Court for the period July 23, 2002 through February 7, 2004. During the randomized trial, offenders were assigned to one of four conditions: 1) batterer program plus monthly judicial monitoring; 2) batterer program plus graduated judicial monitoring; 3) monthly judicial monitoring only; and 4) graduated judicial monitoring only. The offenders were tracked for 1 year after sentencing to determine the effectiveness of the sentencing conditions. The findings suggest that mandating offenders to a batterer program does not produce a reduction in re-arrest rates nor does it reduce reported incidences of re-abuse. The findings also indicate that judicial monitoring does not lead to lower incidences of re-arrest, thus suggesting the need for changes in program mandates. Study limitations are discussed. Tables, figures, references, and appendixes
Date Published: November 1, 2005
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