Marshall County to Try New Treatment Approach for Domestic Violence Offenders

People convicted of domestic violence offenses in Marshall County will soon be getting a new type of treatment. Domestic Violence-Moral Reconation Therapy is now available as a sentencing option.

Prosecutor Nelson Chipman and Community Corrections Director Ward Byers announced the new approach in a press release Friday. They say it’s “an evidence based cognitive behavioral program designed to enhance awareness of thoughts and belief patterns to change behavior to one of equality and acceptance.”

The hope is that the treatment will do a better job of stopping offenders from committing more acts of domestic violence in the future. Chipman says that in the past, those offenders had to take an anger management course.

The problem, he says, is that those who are prone to domestic violence are generally very good at managing their anger, according to experts. That meant that anger management courses had little effect on the recidivism rate.

The Domestic Violence-Moral Reconation Therapy initiative will involve the Prosecutor’s Office, Community Corrections, the Probation Department, and the Bowen Center. Chipman says the therapy will be required in all future plea agreements for domestic violence cases. He adds that his office will also argue for the treatment when those convicted of domestic violence are being sentenced.

The announcement coincides with the start of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which officially gets underway tomorrow.