Testing Focused Deterrence Strategies to Reduce Habitual Interpersonal Violence Recidivism

Testing Focused Deterrence Strategies to Reduce Habitual Interpersonal Violence Recidivism
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1 Module 1
Recorded on: 2022-11-08
Unit 1 Presentation Materials: Testing Focused Deterrence Strategies
Unit 2 Transcript: Testing Focused Deterrence Strategies
Unit 3 Workbook: Testing Focused Deterrence Strategies
Unit 4 Recording: Testing Focused Deterrence Strategies

The evidence-based approach to policing utilizes the scientific method to confirm or disprove how specific actions or interventions can impact the profession’s work. The Barrie Police Service conducted a study to test the effectiveness of an IPV deterrence strategy in their efforts to reduce recidivism and as a part of their service-wide shift towards evidence-based policing. This webinar outlines the study’s methodology, implementation, findings, and lessons learned.

Leading the discussion is Madison Charman, an Organizational Researcher with the Barrie Police Service who informs the department’s operational and strategic decision-making through research. Providing operational context to the research is Deputy Chief Rich Johnston of the Barrie Police Service where he’s served for more than two decades across different roles and assignments.

Specifics of the session include:

  • An overview of the Barrie Police Service, their efforts to implement evidence-based policing, and how a targeted strategy is more effective than a diffused/generic approach to crime.
  • The evidence-based approach to IPV researches that have been used as a guideline to the Barrie Police Service IPV study.
  • The main research questions that the study aims to address.
  • A brief backgrounder on the incidences of and circumstances surrounding IPV cases handled by the Barrie Police Service and the rationale behind the IPV study.
  • The goals of the study in terms of how IPV presents harm to the victims and the community’s health and well-being, finding a sustainable strategy to intercept the harm, creating a pathway to future resources, and leveraging the frontline in the process.
  • The concept of harm and the harm score, how this metric is measured and its basis, and examples illustrating how harm provides context to the extent of criminality outside of just volume.
  • The intervention strategy through brief 3-to 5-minute unexpected monthly checks on habitual IPV offenders.
  • The methodology employed in the study through a randomized control trial – the selection of participants and the criteria for the selection, the assignment of officers to check on participants, and the measures for reduction.
  • The findings of the study in terms of:
    • The participants’ demographics and criminal justice profile.
    • Pre-intervention findings that served as baseline and post- results to compare the effectiveness of the interventions.
  • The implication of the study outcomes and the areas identified as implementation challenges in terms of tracking, officer resources, and participant recruitment.
    • How tracking ensures effectively measuring the impact of the intervention and the importance of a centralized monitoring system with a dedicated person to track it.
    • The value of buy-in to keep officers engaged in the project and having dedicated manpower to conduct the visits so that there will be data to track.
    • The changing strategies to choosing the officers to do the checks and the struggles with getting officers to do the actual checks.
    • Issues with officers’ tracking and reporting which translated to unaccounted and lost data.
    • Variables related to the eligibility criteria and physical availability of the participants that presented challenges with recruitment.
  • How the Barrie Police Service integrated the lessons learned from the study by:
    • Incorporating checks into the performance management process.
    • Reviewing call volume and prioritization to give way to research initiatives.
    • Overcoming the stigma linked with the idea of research and seeing it not just as an added task but a means to improve things and save resources in the future.
    • Exploring victim-centered approaches to take on the recidivism issue outside of the solely punitive lens.
    • Understanding how critical implementation is for strategies to make a difference.

Questions from the webinar participants are about:

  • Including outreach to the victims during the check with the offenders.
  • Unintended consequences to the victims of the officer visits to the offenders.
  • Rerunning and improving the study.
  • Taking the ACE scores of the IPV offenders into account.
  • Whether the participants are aware of the study being conducted.
  • Mandated training to reduce IPV for the offenders.


Other Webinars with these Presenters


Or click here to view and register for other upcoming ASEBP webinars on the JCH Platform.



Audience Comments

  • Although the study did not produce good, it’s important to try new things. Insightful presentation.” — Angelica
  • “I actually liked the “surprise” findings that it failed, followed by the deeper dive into why. I appreciate the moral of the story that we need to try things. I don’t think many Canadian police organizations are used to randomized controlled trials or appreciate their robustness and would predict similar adherence issues if attempted at our Service. Thank you for the lessons learned!” — Amanda
  • “Fantastic information and I liked the way they laid the study out and what they found and what they did not know. The information was invaluable for anyone planning a study. “DON’T BE AFRAID TO TRY SOMETHING” — Billy
  • “Trying something is better than doing nothing.” — Dana
  • “I appreciated ACEs being included in this webinar’s content.” — Samantha
  • “Thanks so much for being willing to present when you didn’t have “successful” results. It was really interesting to hear the methodology and considerations about how the information could still be useful.” — Zoe





The American Society of EvidenceBased Policing is a non-profit organization started by working police officers designed to drive the national conversation towards ensuring that the least harmful, most effective, fairest, and safest strategies are employed to prevent crime, reduce harm, and improve community wellness.



Additional Resources
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