Muskie School of Public Service

Barbara Hart discusses domestic violence offender rehabilitation in the Bangor Daily News

Barbara Hart, Director of Law and Policy of Domestic Violence, Muskie School of Public Service, was recently featured in a long-form news article for the Bangor Daily News MaineFocus project.

"The offending dilemma" takes a look at the practices used to rehabilitate domestic violence offenders in Maine. The article dives deep into the issues surrounding rehabilitation, the psychological and behavioral aspects of domestic violence and certain modes of treatment for offenders, among other topics.

The piece consistently argues for the increased use of batterers' intervention programs as a form of rehabilitation. According to the story, Maine courts sent 719 offenders to counseling and 218 to anger management in 2013 while only 414 were sent to a intervention course as a part of their probation.

But according to Hart, while it may be the best option for true change, offenders are not likely being placed in these intervention programs for of a variety of reasons, chiefly because there are not enough of them in the state. Hart also points out costs, travel and the lack of understanding surrounding batterers' intervention as other issues with the form of treatment.

When asked if the state should address the barriers of cost, availability and the perception of the program, Hart responded, "yes, yes and yes."

Click here to read more of Hart's comments in "The offending dilemma: Maine fails to put batterers in programs that address roots of domestic violence -- and pays for it."