Safe at Home: Treating Offenders and Their Victims

Planning a program to counsel and treat substance-abusing domestic violence offenders and their families

The Domestic Violence Initiative in Passaic County, N.J., worked from 1999 through 2003 to reduce domestic violence by educating domestic violence offenders as well as counseling and supporting their victims and children.

The initiative provided 26 weeks of 90-minute classes in five sessions during the grant period. The classes included education and behavioral counseling.

The project was part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's (RWJF) New Jersey Health Initiatives program.

Key Results:

  • Served more than 700 domestic violence offenders with educational classes and, as needed, with substance abuse referrals.
  • Provided counseling and support services to more than 175 victims of domestic violence and their children.
  • Provided domestic violence training to Passaic County judges, representatives of police departments in the four largest municipalities in Passaic County and other high-level officials within the Passaic Vicinage Probation Division.

Key Findings:

  • Nine of 56 probationers surveyed—16 percent—repeated a domestic violence or other offense. The recidivism rate for standard domestic violence probationers is 35 percent.

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