New domestic violence programme for offenders

  • Anne Tolley
Corrections

Corrections Minister Anne Tolley says a new and comprehensive domestic violence programme is to be introduced for community offenders to help reduce reoffending and prevent family members from being re-victimised.

Domestic violence offenders in the community will take part in 26 sessions over 60 hours, with a focus on minimising the harm caused by drug and alcohol misuse, improving relationship and parenting skills, and managing emotions and attitudes.

The programme will be piloted by some existing providers from July 2014, with a real-time evaluation before a scheduled full rollout in 2015.   

In addition, all probation officers are currently being trained to work with domestic violence offenders to deliver rehabilitation and to identify risks and warning signs of where family violence may be taking place.

“Domestic violence wrecks lives. We want to ensure that families are safe in their homes and that this terrible offending isn’t repeated,” says Mrs Tolley.

“The new domestic violence programme, based on international best practice, will provide a more effective, uniform approach across the country, replacing the range of different programmes which currently exist.

“This is an area in which we can and must do better.

“At the moment, only half of offenders complete the programmes. This has to improve, and one way to do this is to provide more flexible access, with sessions being provided at night and at weekends.

“We have been making sweeping changes to rehabilitation right across the Corrections portfolio to meet our target of reducing reoffending by 25 per cent by 2017.

“This will deliver safer communities and, importantly, it will result in 18,500 fewer victims of crime each year.”