A Randomized Study Comparing Batterer Intervention and Alternative Treatment Approaches for Domestic Violence Offenders

National Science Foundation (NSF)


This National Science Foundation-funded study uses a randomized controlled design to compare the traditional criminal justice response to domestic violence cases with hybrid alternative approaches in Salt Lake City, Utah. 

Traditionally, most people convicted of a domestic violence offense are ordered to attend group-education sessions in Batterer Intervention Programs (BIP). CVR and the University of Utah are examining the effectiveness of BIP plus an alternative method of treatment: a restorative justice approach called Circles of Peace (CP) as a supplement to the BIP-only approach. CP provides weekly circles or conference, encouraging behavioral and attitudinal change, and includes participation from willing victims, family members, and trained community members. The study is being conducted in two parts over four years.

Part I randomized all eligible intimate partner and family violence (adults only) offenders into either: a BIP only program, or a BIP plus CP program. The protocol for Part I of the study can be seen here.

Part II randomizes only intimate partner violence cases into BIP only, or a restorative justice-infused BIP plus CP. The protocol for Part II of the study can be seen here.