Settling on a reactive approach when it comes to addressing domestic violence may actually be too late. Abusive behavior is recurring and can be difficult to shake off, thus releasing a DV offender without the warranted intervention is dangerous. Further, the abuser tends to continue to make the victims’ life challenging directly or indirectly even during incarceration.
This sessions’ speakers are Audrey Cress and Janet Good from the Kansas Department of Corrections (KDOC). Audrey is the Director of the KDOC Office of Victim Services (OVS), a corrections-based victim service provider. Meanwhile, Janet is the KDOC-OVS Domestic Violence Response Coordinator, leading corrections initiatives to manage domestic violence offenders through screening, training, and intervention.
Together they talk about their division’s experience, lessons, and programs to address DV perpetration in this interactive webinar. Specifics include:
- A brief overview of the KDOC and its OVS – their mission, their workforce, and the population they are in charge of.
- The misconception that incarceration is enough deterrence to domestic violence perpetration.
- The prevalence of domestic violence as evidenced in the disproportionality of DV victims seeking help from the KDOC OVS
- Power and control behind bars: The various means DV offenders employ to continue the abuse of the victims in the corrections setting.
- Using other people – where offenders enlist other people’s help to keep an eye on, scare, or torment their victims.
- Circumventing the protocols and limitations of the corrections system to maintain/compel contact with their victims.
- Leveraging the mechanisms of the legal system to gain knowledge of the victim’s whereabouts and access the victim or their child/ren.
- Utilizing technology to be able to contact the victim and detect his/her location.
- Understanding the concept of isolation of abuse and how this explains how a DV abuser may feign change to convince the victim to yield to his/her whims.
- The reality that incarceration is not a sure way to keep the victim safe, and if any, may pose further risks.
- The audit and review conducted that provided the framework of the action plan KDOC OVS adopted in their efforts to address DV and how it continues when the abuser is incarcerated.
- A look into the DV Screening Tool they employed, and the findings based on the DV Screening Tool data that provided better insights into the gravity of the issue.
- A glimpse into the other resources and efforts provided by the KDOC OVS as their Batterer’s Intervention Program (BIP), DV trainings, policies, and other upcoming initiatives to address DV perpetration.
- The critical role of collaboration across various KDOC OVS partners in the progress and success it is seeing right now.
Audience questions are about:
- The effectiveness of court-ordered batterer intervention program.
- The parameters/basis of measures they looked for in the outcomes
- The use of the Family Peace Initiative as KDOC OVS’ BIP.
- How the organizational structure looks like for the KDOC OVS.
- Getting law enforcement to get on board with victim advocate-led DV initiatives.
- Other options aside from a protective order to make an offender comply with orders.
- When offenders must participate in the intervention programs.
During this session, we’ll discuss:
- The scope of domestic violence perpetration in an offender population, regardless of the current crime of conviction.
- At least three behaviors that a domestic violence offender may use while incarcerated.
- At least one collaborative relationship/connection that could support a more proactive response to domestic violence.
This is the first of a three-part series:
- Part 1: A Proactive Response to Domestic Violence: Understanding & Identifying Incarcerated Batterers (this webinar)
- Sept 23: A Proactive Response to Domestic Violence
- Jan 12, 2021: A Proactive Response to Domestic Violence: Collaboration in Facility and Parole-Based Batterer Intervention Programming
Resources and Handouts
- “I worked for KDOC about 20 years ago. It’s amazing to see the leaps and bounds in their programming. Very informative!” — Carol
- “Excellent presenters. Best: very practical, reality-based.” — Clarice
- “Well organized, vast array of issues presented were informative and reinforced what I have seen as a victim advocate. Charts, graphs were great documentation for study findings, Offender Wheel was something I have never seen before and will serve as a very valuable tool. Great presentation as always, I look forward to Part 2! Thank you kindly!” — Cheryl
- “It was really helpful to hear from people who are working in correction based victim services. I feel like this is a topic that is not often discussed and more discussion is needed.” — Erin
- “Love the DV screening tool and victim outreach.” — Julie
- “I have a MUCH better understanding of how abusers can control their victims from within the institution.” — Jill
- “I knew some of the tactics of abusers from inside the jail, but this was revealed so much more than I was aware. Very helpful and the first I have seen on this topic. Thank you.” — Elaine
- “Thank you for this presentation. The information of how power and control behind bars and how the abusers are still able to circumvent the system is eye-opening. We are a new office that was created with VOCA funds and hope to expand our services to the corrections system to help screen DV candidates at RAD. I will explore more from you about your screening tools.” — NETTIE