Justice Column

By: News Report
May 2nd, 2018

This 88th Edition of Justice For All is an overview of the Iowa Domestic Abuse Program.

Iowa Code Section 708.2A (10) requires anyone who is found guilty of domestic abuse assault to, in addition the mandatory minimum jail sentence of two consecutive days, participate in a batterers’ treatment program. This applies even if the defendant receives the most favorable sentence available, a deferred judgment, which will not result in a conviction on the defendant’s record if he or she successfully completes probation.

Defendants fulfill the batterers’ treatment program by completing IDAP which stands for the Iowa Domestic Abuse Program. IDAP is a 24 week course run by the Iowa Department of Correctional Services (“DCS”). Domestic abuse offenders must pay the total tuition for the course of $650.00 in cash. $50.00 is due at the intake / orientation session and $25.00 is due at every meeting after that. IDAP Courses for men are held in Dubuque, Waterloo, and West Union at the West Union Residential Facility with IDAP for women held in Dubuque and Waterloo.

Each week consists of a two hour session and taught by an educator who has been determined to meet the highest standards and who possesses a complete understanding of the most effective strategies to combat the problem of domestic abuse.  

IDAP curriculum now can include Achieving Change Through Values-Based Behavior, “ACTV” (pronounced “active”). This program was developed by Amie Zarling, an assistant professor of human development and family studies at Iowa State University. While ACTV is still in its early stages, a study showing a reduction in recidivism rates is encouraging news.

Anyone who fails to complete the 24 week IDAP program can be held in contempt of court and required to serve up to 180 days in jail. If the person who fails to complete IDAP is on probation they may also run the risk of having their probation revoked which may result in the loss of a deferred judgment, incarceration, or both.

DCS states that high standards are “necessary to recognize that domestic violence is a serious, potentially lethal problem and that programming for these violent individuals requires more than just a general knowledge of the treatment of behavioral or interpersonal problems. Research suggests a combination of legal sanctions and education programs is a more effective means of reducing abusive behavior than either one alone.”

Given the dangerous and destructive nature of domestic abuse, the IDAP program serves as an effective tool to protect victims by prevent future crimes by their abusers. Next month’s Justice For All will be the fourth in this four column series on domestic abuse assault and will address the Safe at Home address confidentiality program.  





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