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An improved process for monitoring attendance at behaviour change programs

Recommendation:
090
Status:
Implemented

Who is leading the change

  • Court Services Victoria

The Victorian Government, working with the courts and providers of men’s behaviour change programs, establish an improved process for monitoring the attendance of perpetrators who are ordered to participate in behaviour change programs and the outcomes of their participation in those programs.

  • Work is being done to ensure a more coordinated and responsive approach to perpetrator behaviour change and keeping perpetrators in view.

    The Magistrates’ Court of Victoria (MCV) worked with RMIT’s Centre for Innovative Justice (the CIJ) to review the current counselling order programs used by the courts including the processes to monitor the attendance of perpetrators at programs.

    Stakeholders have been engaged to consider how improved monitoring might be implemented and what outcomes might be reported on.

    There are a number of working groups the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria participate on that are working towards ensuring any process is achievable. These bodies include the:

    • Magistrates’ Court of Victoria
    • Children’s Court of Victoria
    • Court Services Victoria
    • Men’s behaviour change service providers, including No to Violence
    • Department of Premier and Cabinet
    • Victoria Legal Aid
  • In October 2018, the CIJ completed the broader review to identify best practice by courts in mandating perpetrator attendance and completion of Men’s Behaviour Change Programs. The Magistrates’ Court of Victoria accepted those recommendations and developed a new single, best practice model for the Court Mandated Counselling Order Program, which is a key service delivery offering of the Specialist Family Violence Courts.

    The new model is consistent, robust and flexible to ensure it is able to adapt to the ever-changing landscape of perpetrator interventions. New Operating Standards have been developed to detail the responsibilities of both MCV and the relevant service providers contracted to deliver the program. It provides a greater level of rigour around the risk assessment and management of respondents who do not comply with the conditions of a Counselling Order, and provides a therapeutic approach towards increasing compliance with court orders, as well as promoting more respectful attitudes and behaviours.

    A complex tender process was completed in 2019 to procure service provision of the new model. The Service Providers commenced delivery of the Court Mandated Counselling Order Program as of 2 January 2020.

  • Implemented

Reviewed 26 August 2020

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