Alex Heckert, chair of the Department of Sociology and associate director of the Mid-Atlantic Addiction Research and Training Institute (MARTI), chaired a panel on the book The Future of Batterer Programs: Reassessing Evidence-Based Practice at the American Society of Criminology conference.
The book was written by Edward Gondolf, ex-associate director of Research for MARTI and retired IUP faculty member. In April 2012, Gondolf’s work on batterer programs was published by Northeastern University Press. Gondolf is one of the leading experts in the world on batterers and batterer intervention programs.
In his book, he discusses the flaws of experimental program evaluations, “evidence-based practice,” and “new psychology,” while promoting a broader approach for batterer intervention and advocating better implementation of the basic principles established in the criminal justice field. Gondolf concludes from his research that many batterer programs need more documentation of their efficiency and effectiveness. The lack of evaluation prevents these programs from being modified to improve and expand them in order to reach more individuals.
The panel at the 2012 American Society of Criminology (ASC) was an “Author Meets Critics” session, at which Heckert served as chair. Heckert, Larry Bennett (University of Illinois at Chicago), and Joanne Belknap (University of Colorado–Boulder), served as critics to Gondolf’s work.
Belknap is president-elect of the ASC. The conference was held in Chicago, Illinois, from November 14–17, 2013.