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Unformatted text preview: Batterer Intervention Programs County Probation Departments Could Improve Their Compliance With State Law, but Progress in Batterer Accountability Also Depends on the Courts REPORT NUMBER 2005-130, NOVEMBER 2006 Five county probation departments responses as of November and December 2007 State law requires an individual who is placed on probation for a crime of domestic violence to complete a 52-week batterer intervention program (program) approved by a county probation department (department). The programs are structured courses designed to stop the use of physical, psychological, or sexual abuse to gain or maintain control over a person such as a spouse or cohabitant. The Joint Legislative Audit Committee requested that the Bureau of State Audits examine the extent to which the various entities involved in batterer intervention including programs, departments, and courtshold convicted batterers accountable. Specifically, we were asked to review how the departments and courts responded to a sample of progress reports, allegations, or other information from the programs. We were also asked to determine how well a sample of departments oversee programs. Finding #1: Many batterers do not complete their required programs, and the extent to which they are held accountable varies. Based on statistics provided by the departments and our review of a sample of 125 batterers, only about half of the batterers required to complete a program actually do so. In reviewing department responses to violations committed by the 125 batterers, we found that some departments we visited counseled and referred batterers back to programs after they had been terminated for violations, rather than notifying the courts as required by state law. Because only two batterers in our sample ever completed a program after committing three or more violations, we questioned whether this practice only delays the inevitable court-imposed consequences of jail time or probation revocation. Further, some courts notified of violations simply returned batterers to programs without imposing any additional jail time, even though at times the batterer had multiple prior violations. We questioned whether this practice may be sending the unintentional message to batterers that they can avoid the program requirement without any significant penalty for doing so. Although the most frequent violation involved noncompliance with attendance policies, the departments we reviewed had various policies regarding program attendance, and all were more lenient than statutory provisions, which allow for only three absences for good cause. In discussing their policies, departments cited the need for greater flexibility in attendance policies to allow as many batterers as possible to complete their assigned programs. In addition, the counties of some of the departments we visited have implemented a practice of having batterers make regular appearances to have their progress reviewed by the court. This appears to provide for better batterer reviewed by the court....
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This note was uploaded on 03/02/2011 for the course SOC 168 taught by Professor Lio during the Spring '07 term at UC Riverside.
- Spring '07