#DVPreventionMonth: QCS officers deliver targeted intervention programs to perpetrators

Rehabilitation programs specific to perpetrators of domestic and family violence are being trialled across Queensland correctional centres to help break the cycle of DFV-related violence

Many prisoners in our care are perpetrators of domestic and family violence. Having behavioural change programs in place such as the Disrupting Family Violence Program (DFVP) aims to reduce the risk of violent and abusive behaviours in familial and intimate relationships.

A trial of the DFVP commenced in 2019 with Wolston, Woodford and Maryborough Correctional Centres as trial sites.

The program is targeted at prisoners who have perpetrated violence and abusive behaviours against intimate partners and family members and aims to work towards goals that increase safety and promote family wellbeing.

The group format program explores core beliefs and emotions that drive abusive thinking and behaviours and focuses on respect and equality, connections, and how family violence impacts children. Strategies to enhance family wellbeing are then developed.

Acting Superintendent Offender Rehabilitation and Management Services Shelley Lyell said the DFVP program is based on Cognitive Behaviour Therapy which research indicates is effective in changing attitudes, beliefs and behaviours.

“The DFVP program aims to reduce the likelihood of future domestic and family violence making the trial an important element of QCS’ efforts to contribute to community safety.”

The program trial has been running for approximately 18 months and the responses to date from both participants and facilitators is positive, stating the content and group format increases perpetrator accountability and facilitates behavioural change.