Safe Homes, Safe Communities
Commitment to Research
The Center has participated in research in cooperation with the Court and with other researchers including the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, DePaul University, the Jane Addams College of Social Work and other departments of the University of Illinois at Chicago, Dominican University and the University of St. Francis.
The Center's Co-Founders, Dr. Christine Call and Dr. Charlie Stoops, joined with Dr. Larry Bennett from the Jane Addams College of Social Work and Heather Flett, former Clinical Director of the Cook County Circuit Court Social Service Department, to conduct a study of the effect of completing a Partner Abuse Intervention group on recidivism. The study, conducted under the auspices of the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, found that completing a program significantly reduces recidivism. The results of this study, "Effects of Program Completion on Re-arrest in a Batterer Intervention System", was published 2007 in Research on Social Work Practice.
Dr. Call, Dr. Stoops and Dr. Neil Vincent of De Paul University collaborated on a qualitative research project that included 17 interviews with men who have successfully completed the partner abuse intervention program in an effort to better understand what factors were important in men completing the program. A theme that emerged from a review of the first interviews is that their relationship with another person - a court worker, a family member, a friend, or a current partner or ex-partner was an important resource that helped them to complete the program and become accountable for their abusive behavior. These preliminary results - "Exploration of Strengths and Needs of Partner Abuse Intervention Completers" was presented by the researchers in 2009 at the Council on Social Work Education Annual Program Meeting in San Antonio, TX.
Katherine Dahlberg in her 2013 doctoral dissertation completed a secondary analysis of these qualitative interviews. In her research she examined the data for the presence of empathy in the program completers from the data initially collected by Drs. Call, Stoops and Vincent for their study. Nine out of the seventeen men demonstrated through their qualitative statements an understanding of mutual empathy and twelve out of seventeen showed an understanding of cognitive empathy. Although this was a secondary analysis and the questions weren't developed to assess empathy, the results are encouraging and the information is being used to train staff to increase their acknowledgement and demonstration of empathy in the group intervention.
In 2015, David Estell, an UIC intern in the Center's program, reviewed pre-service and post-intervention questionnaires of a sample of 50 men who completed the program successfully. This comparison showed a significant increase in feelings of self-efficacy and feelings of satisfaction with life during the course of the intervention. This is important because it may suggest increased ability to control responses to both external and internal cues and an increased sense of stake in society.
More information on research and program evaluation to come - please check back.