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Domestic Violence Solutions Treatment Education Program (DVSTEP)

The Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court implemented the Domestic Violence Solutions Treatment Education program (DVSTEP) in July of 2016. The program, formally known as the Domestic Violence Repeat Offender Program, works to reduce the cycle of violence and recidivism among high risk domestic violence offenders, while also providing treatment and counseling to victims and children.  The DVSTEP is a voluntary program in the respect that the defendant must want to participate before being referred for acceptance.  The program is a minimum of twelve (12 months), post adjudication, pre-sentence program categorized into two individualized tracks.  Track I is the standard track, where participants begin Domestic Violence treatment immediately as they enter the program.  Whereas, Track II is for participants who also have substance use disorders and begin treatment for their substance use immediately during the first Phase.  Participants in Track I and Track II are required to complete a minimum of the required fifty-two (52) weeks of CYFD approved domestic violence counseling and have on-going meetings with the probation officer.  Additionally, this program may offer defendants an opportunity to earn a deferred sentence on a case-by-case basis as authorized by the program judge. 

The DVSTEP team meets two times monthly for case reviews.  These case reviews are designed to ensure a multi-disciplinary approach is being achieved for the defendant.  The case reviews involve the program judge, a representative from the District Attorney’s Office, Public Defender’s Office, contracted counselors, the court’s clinician, the probation officer, and the program manager.  The program judge meets with each defendant monthly or more often if the phase requires.

The DVSTEP incorporates a unique aspect into the program by allocating funding for treatment for the victims and children of the domestic violence offenders entering the program. 

The Honorable Rosemary Cosgrove-Aguilar presides over the DVSTEP program and has a regular docket as well.  Her team includes; a bi-lingual probation officer/program manager and therapists from two contracted community agencies. Judge Cosgrove-Aguilar interacts with each defendant, per phase requirement in regard to their progress or graduated sanctions for non-compliance.