The Colorado Domestic Violence Multi-disciplinary Treatment Team (MTT) Approach to Mandatory Domestic Violence Treatment Requirements
Mandated treatment in Colorado domestic violence cases – for many years – was a specific term of 36 weeks. In 2006 the Colorado Domestic Violence Management Board developed a new open ended standard and removed the 36 week requirement in favor of what they call a “more differentiated” revision of the required treatment period.
What follows is a description of the revision.
The Domestic Violence Offender Management Board (Board) identified a need for more differentiated offender treatment in 2006. The Board then created the Treatment Review Committee (Committee) and tasked it with reviewing relevant research and creating a draft for treatment revisions.
Number of Weeks in the Program Now Based on “Offender Risk”
The Committee proposed that treatment should not be focused solely on number of weeks of treatment and that recommendations and intervention should be based on offender risk, responsivity, and criminogenic needs. These issues as well as offender degree of behavioral change in treatment would determine the length and intensity of treatment. The Committee drafted proposed revisions to the Standards for Treatment with Court Ordered Domestic Violence Offenders (Standards) addressing this issue.
The MTT Team – and the Requirement of Consensus
The proposed new Standards create a Multidisciplinary Treatment Team (MTT) comprised of, at a minimum, the treatment victim advocate, treatment provider, and supervising criminal justice entity. The MTT Team works ” collaboratively.’ At every phase – but especially to complete treatment – there must be a “consensus for decisions.”
A consensus is required for the initial placement in treatment and intensity of offender treatment, as well as changes to levels during treatment and when discharge is appropriate.
The new Standard creates different levels of intensity of treatment allowing the opportunity for offenders to move between levels as indicated during treatment. While some offenders might remain in the same level throughout treatment, there is also built into this new rule, the ability to move offenders to a different level of treatment as needed based on new information such as change in risk factors, mitigation of risk, continuing abuse, or denial.
The MTT team evaluates the degree of offender behavioral change during treatment and re-assessments are required at identified intervals.
The Multi-disciplinary Treatment Team (MTT) includes, three members: the supervising criminal justice agency (e.g., probation officer, the court), the approved provider, and the treatment victim a Domestic Violence advocate. The treatment victim Domestic Violence advocate working with the approved provider is a critical member of the MTT. Whether or not the victim has been contacted, the Domestic Violence advocate still has expertise and perspectives that are valuable to the MTT related to offender treatment planning and management.
The MTT team reviews and consults on each domestic violence offender.
MTT Consensus: Consensus is defined as the agreement of the majority of the team members. The MTT shall have consensus as its goal in managing offenders. The MTT shall attempt to reach consensus for the following phases of treatment, at a minimum: initial placement in treatment, when treatment planning indicates a change in level of offender treatment and discharge. The supervising agent for the court will have the ability to overrule the decision of the team.
Most Colorado domestic violence evaluations – where it is determined “how much treatment is necessary” are conducted POST Sentence.
Here is the Colorado Standard on Post Sentence Evaluations In Colorado Domestic Violence Cases:
The post-sentence intake evaluation is a required component of the offender’s intake process and shall be conducted on each offender by an Approved Provider. In cases in which a pre-sentence evaluation has been completed and a copy has been obtained by the Approved Provider, the post-sentence intake evaluation shall expand on the pre-sentence evaluation as necessary.
When the substance abuse screening and/or clinical judgment indicate the need for further assessment, the offender shall be referred to a CAC II, CAC III or LAC for a substance abuse assessment.
When further offender mental health assessment is indicated and the Approved Provider is not a licensed mental health professional, the Approved Provider shall refer the offender to a licensed mental health professional for further assessment. Once the post-sentence evaluation is completed, the Approved Provider shall obtain the consensus of the Multi-disciplinary Treatment Team (MTT) regarding the initial treatment plan. The MTT includes, at a minimum, the supervising criminal justice agency (e.g. probation officer), Approved Provider, and victim advocate.
For a complete analysis of the Colorado Domestic Violence Standards – please follow this link http://www.dcj.state.co.us/odvsom/Domestic_Violence/DV_Pdfs/Standards.pdf