97-H 6186A am
Approved Jul. 3, 1997


It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows

SECTION 1. Chapter 12-29 of the General Laws entitled "Domestic Violence Prevention Act" is hereby amended by adding thereto the following sections:

{ADD 12-29-5.1. Oversight committee created -- Composition.-- ADD} {ADD There is hereby created a Batterers Intervention Standards Oversight Committee, hereinafter referred to as the "committee" pursuant to the provisions of section 12-29-5 of this chapter. The committee shall meet no fewer than four (4) times per year at the call of the chairperson or upon petition of a majority of committee members. The committee shall consist of thirteen (13)members to be appointed as follows: The director of the department of corrections or his/her designee who shall serve as chairperson of the committee; the director of the Governor's Justice Commission or his/her designee; the executive director of the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence or his/her designee; a representative from the law enforcement community appointed by the Chair of the Rhode Island Police Chiefs Association; the attorney general or his/her designee; the director of Justice Assistance or his/her designee; a qualified elector of this state appointed by the Governor; the director of the domestic violence training and monitoring unit or his/her designee; the chief justice of the supreme court or his/her designee; the director of the department of health or his/her designee; a representative of a batterers intervention program appointed by the director of the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence; the chief judge of the district court or his/her designee; and the director of the Urban League of Rhode Island or his/her designee.

Each member of the committee may appoint a permanent designee to attend committee meetings in his/her absence. A quorum of the committee shall consist of a majority of its members. ADD}

{ADD 12-29-5.2. Duties and responsibilities of committee. -- ADD} {ADD The committee shall have the duties and responsibilities to:

(a) establish and promulgate minimum standards for batterers intervention programs serving persons mandated pursuant to section 12-29-5, revise such standards as is deemed necessary, and make such standards available to the public, provided that such standards shall include but not be limited to the following:

(1) Batterers intervention programs shall be conducted in the context of psycho-educational groups, i.e. groups of domestic violence perpetrators led by one or more professional group leaders trained and experienced in batterers intervention programming and conducted for the purposes of learning and enacting non-abusive behaviors through didactic instruction, interaction among participants and leaders, and teaching of skills within the groups; and

(2) The duration of batterers intervention programs shall be a minimum of forty (40) contact hours over the course of twenty (20) weeks; and

(3) Batterers intervention programs shall require that all mandated batterers pay fees for the programs in accordance with the provisions of section 12-29-5, provided however, that programs shall accommodate varying levels of ability to pay by means of sliding fee scales and may elect to offer alternatives to payment in the form of community service and/or deferred payment for a portion of the fees;

(b) monitor and review batterers intervention programs seeking certification with respect to compliance with such standards, including periodic on-site review;

(c) certify those batterers intervention programs which are in compliance with the standards established pursuant to section 12-29-5.2(a); and

(d) investigate and decide appeals, complaints, requests for variances, and post-enrollment certification applications; for purposes of this chapter "post-enrollment certification applications" shall mean those applications made to the committee by a batterer mandated to attend a certified batterers intervention program in accordance with section 12-29-5 who has, prior to adjudication, enrolled in a program not certified by the committee. Said application shall include supporting documentation from the batterers intervention program and a request that participation in said batterers intervention program be accepted in lieu of the equivalent number of hours of a certified batterers intervention program. The committee shall act upon a post-enrollment certification application within thirty (30) days of receipt of same. ADD}

{ADD 12-29-5.3. Subcommittees, task forces, focus groups and advisory committees. -- ADD} {ADD (a) The committee may establish and appoint such subcommittees, task forces, focus groups and advisory committees as it deems necessary from time to time to carry out the provisions of this chapter; and (b) the committee shall promulgate its rules of procedure governing its operations in accordance with the administrative procedures act, chapter 35 of title 42. ADD}

SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.

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