Domestic Violence Program
The domestic violence program provides the local juvenile and domestic relations courts a way to identify, assess and treat offenders who are before the court for assaultive behavior on family members. Offenders who are referred to Blue Ridge Court Services from the JDR Courts are screened using a domestic violence inventory to assess the severity of problem. Offenders are then placed into one of four treatment groups to address anger management, batterer prevention or domestic violence issues. Upon successful completion of treatment, the offender is returned to court for the appropriate disposition.
Va. Code18.2-57.3 allows judges to take domestic violence cases under advisement and to refer the offender to a community corrections programs for assessment and evaluation to determine the appropriate treatment. Upon successful fulfillment of the terms established by the court, the case may be dismissed at the end of the advisement period.
Offenders before the court for domestic violence maybe referred to Blue Ridge Court Services where they are interviewed and participate in a Domestic Violence Inventory (DVI). The offender’s score on the DVI combined with a review of his/her prior record and circumstances of the present offense influence the level of treatment required. Four treatment options are available:
- Dr. Joseph Cianciolo – Anger Management Group Therapy
This is a short-term (5 weeks) group for first offenders who need basic education in controlling anger and avoiding future situations where criminal charges may arise. The focus is to provide clients with techniques by which they can better manage their behavior. This group should be used for entry–level clients…those who have no prior record.
- Comprehensive Counseling Services – Anger Management Group Therapy
This is an open-ended group (8 weeks) whose main focus is treating domestic violence offenders. The group meets weekly for 1 hour and it is a combination of counseling and education and group participation. The counseling also addresses substance abuse issues and the negative effect it may have on relationships.
- Valley Hope – Anger Management Individual Therapy
This is a one-to-one counseling program with a minimum of 12 sessions. The counseling focuses on finding alternative ways to handle anger and violent issues. The counseling can be tailored to meet the offender's needs such as substance abuse, depression and other mental health issues.
- Commonwealth Catholic Charities – Batterer’s Intervention
This is a state certified intensive 26 week rolling enrollment treatment group which focuses on offenders who have a history of battering their domestic partner. This group meets at the St. Frances Catholic Church on Augusta Street in Staunton each Monday evening from 6:00 to 7:30 PM and uses a psycho-educational approach.
Dave Pastors, Director
Blue Ridge Court Services
125 South New Street
Staunton, VA 24401