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How Does Colorado Manage Treatment for Domestic Violence Offenders?

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

domestic_violenceHave you been charged with domestic violence in Colorado?  Chances are, if this is your first offense you are unfamiliar with the intricacies of the Colorado domestic violence statutes.  Unlike many other crimes that may occur between strangers, domestic violence has its own set of standards for the court-ordered treatment of offenders.  And contrary to what many people think, it is considered a serious crime and not simply a response to a failed relationship.

When creating its new laws about domestic violence in 2009, Colorado lawmakers worked under the fundamental assumption that the safety of the community and the affected victims came first.  As a result, new statutes reflected a shift toward containing offenders and rehabilitating them to eliminate future violent behavior in all of its forms.  Today, Colorado domestic violence cases are governed by the Colorado Domestic Violence Offender Management Board, which offers three standard levels of court-ordered treatment.  The prescribed levels of treatment must be completed before a convicted offender will be released back to society.

What follows is a description of each level of treatment for Colorado domestic violence cases and the standards that define them.

Level A (Low Intensity)

The population of domestic violence offenders identified for Level A does not have an identified pattern of ongoing abusive behaviors. They may have a pro-social support system, or have established some core competencies, and minimal criminal history.  They will also show no evidence of substance abuse or mental health instability.

Level B (Moderate Intensity)

This offender population will show moderate risk factors.  When placed at Level B, they may have an identified pattern of ongoing abusive behaviors; however there may be some denial of the abuse or moderate resistance to the treatment itself. They may have some criminal history and may or may not have a pro-social support system in place. There may be some evidence of moderate substance abuse or mental health issues at the beginning of treatment.

Level C (High Intensity)

Level C domestic violence offenders will have multiple risk factors. In fact, many of these individuals will require cognitive skills based program because of significant denial and/or high resistance to treatment. Often known for their employment or financial instability, Level C offenders generally do not have a pro-social support system. They are also more likely to have a criminal history, substance abuse and/or mental health issues.

A domestic violence attorney can help you navigate the various aspects of your trial, treatment options and other legal issues resulting from a domestic violence charge.

Image Courtesy by Lionel Allorge/http://commons.wikimedia.org/

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