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Effects of a Group Batterer Treatment Program: A Randomized Experiment in Brooklyn

NCJ Number
Justice Quarterly Volume: 18 Issue: 1 Dated: March 2001 Pages: 171-201
Date Published
March 2001
31 pages

This study evaluates the effectiveness of a batterer treatment program.


Despite numerous evaluations of batterer treatment programs, most lack sufficient methodological rigor to yield valid answers about the programs' effectiveness. This paper presents results from an experimental evaluation in which 376 adult males convicted of domestic violence were randomly assigned to either a 40-hour batterer treatment program or 40 hours of community service that did not include any therapeutic treatment. Those assigned to the treatment program showed significantly lower recidivism, on the basis of all outcome measures from official records. Although victims' reports also recorded fewer failures among the batterers assigned to the treatment group, the differences in failure rates were not large enough to be statistically significant. Overall results suggest that therapeutic treatment for batterers may reduce domestic violence among convicted batterers who agree to this sentence. The article concludes that, irrespective of program length and content, or treatment orientation, group treatment programs for batterers will continue in some form, if only because there are no good sentencing alternatives. Notes, tables, references

Date Published: March 1, 2001