The new push is taking place to a return to oversight to programs that are meant to rehabilitate domestic violence offenders. Senator Randolph Bracy is making that push in a Southern state and city.
In fact, there was an investigation that did expose the Batterers Intervention Programs or BIPs. Moreover, they have been operating without any state oversight.
Push for Oversight and Senate Bill 1218
Last year, Senator Bracy’s bills have received unanimous support but unfortunately didn’t make it out of the subcommittee. In this legislative session, Bracy is hoping his second attempt will be more successful.
Moreover, Senate Bill 1218 would, in fact, require the state to monitor and then certify these court-ordered programs.
Also, for the last 10 years, the state has not monitored or certified BIPs after Florida lawmakers did vote to remove that responsibility from the Department of Children and Families in 2012.
Lives at Stake
“Also, if any program should, in fact, be certified, it is like this one. That’s when we are talking about lives at stake,” explains Bracy.
In fact, Bracy is also hoping to once again put oversight of the BIPs back under DCF’s responsibilities. Also, he does believe his bills did die in the subcommittee last year. That is because many of the lawmakers were not aware of this was even an issue. It was something Bracy did say he himself learn after an initial Watchdog Investigation took place in 2020.
“People were just learning why it is so important. Also, to think why it is important that they know there isn’t enough oversight and this can be a serious problem,” shares Bracy.
Moreover, Bracy is right now looking for a lawmaker in the House to file a companion bill.
However, there is a cost to taxpayers involving putting BIPs back under state oversight. Also, Bracy says DCF is still calculating that total.
On January 11th, Bracy does plan to file his new bill during the upcoming legislative session.
This actually occurs as domestic violence cases are on the rise in Florida.