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Innovative court seeks to stop domestic violence relapses

The one place that is supposed to provide solace and comfort is the family home. Sadly, for too many victims, this place of refuge becomes a nightmare when they are subjected to domestic violence. Regardless of the level of violence, Colorado residents who are enduring this type of behavior deserve to find relief and safety.

According to statistics, those who engage in domestic abusive behaviors tend to relapse into their old patterns approximately 50 percent of the time. Typically, offenders are processed through the legal system according to the level of violence of their actions and then are usually permitted to return to their old ways of life. However, one innovative program is seeking to turn things around and help offenders find a new purpose. 

The program is run through the Kansas City court system and is referred to as the compliance docket. Those who are enrolled in this program do so through a plea bargain and are required to appear before the judge approximately every 30 days to report on their progress. They attend classes and have workshops that help them manage their anger and substance abuse. Participants are required to undergo frequent drug testing and are under strict probation conditions. If they violate any of the terms, they are sent to jail.

Thus far, the court reports that they have cut the recidivism rate down to 32 percent versus the typical 50 percent. Officials from other states have visited the court in order to learn how to implement a similar program. While Colorado has not attempted to add this type of court to its legal system, doing so could potentially improve the lives of victims and offenders. Residents who are currently struggling with domestic violence may consult with an experienced attorney who can assist them in finding legal ways to ensure the safety of their loved ones and themselves.

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