SAGE Journal Articles

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Journal Article 1: Gutierrez, L., Blais, J., & Bourgon, G. (2016). Do domestic violence courts work? A meta-analytic review examining treatment and study quality. Justice Research and Policy17, 75–99.

Abstract: Domestic violence courts (DVCs) have become an increasingly popular model in the problem-solving court system. To date, there have been no efforts to summarize the extant literature regarding the impact of DVCs on recidivism. The present study is a meta-analysis of 20 DVC outcome studies reporting on 26 unique DVC samples. The results indicated that DVCs are having a positive impact (i.e., lower odds) on general recidivism (odds ratio [OR] = .81, 95% CI [0.68, 0.98], k = 18) as well as domestic violence recidivism (OR = .81, 95% CI [0.67, 0.97], k = 21), compared to domestic violence offenders processed through the traditional court system. These results, however, became nonsignificant when considering studies of sound methodological quality (as assessed by the Collaborative Outcome Data Committee guidelines). The study also conducted a preliminary investigation of treatment quality (adherence to risk, need, and responsivity [RNR] principles) in the DVC literature. The results indicated that adherence to the RNR principles was low but significantly related to greater treatment effects. Future research should aim to increase the quality of evaluation designs and the courts should look to existing offender rehabilitation literature to inform best practices with domestic violence offenders.

Journal Article 2: Hartley, R. D., & Baldwin, J. M. (2016). Waging war on recidivism among justice-involved veterans: An impact evaluation of a large urban veterans treatment court. Criminal Justice Policy Review.

Abstract: Problem solving courts have increasingly been adopted by jurisdictions around the country as an alternative to traditional criminal court models of justice. Veterans treatment courts (VTCs) are a type of problem-solving court being established all over the country in response to an increased number of justice-involved veterans with the return of military personnel from the Wars in the Middle East. Despite their rapid expansion, there is a dearth of research evaluating the impact of VTCs on recidivism. The current study conducted an impact evaluation regarding recidivism among participants of a large urban VTC program. Findings from descriptive and multivariate analysis reveal positive results for VTC participants, especially graduates, in comparison with the control group. Implications are discussed in context of three areas: (a) current criminal justice policy and practice implications for VTCs, (b) findings from research on other more established problem-solving courts (i.e., drug courts), and (c) research–practitioner partnerships.