The Assessment of Violence Risk
J.P. Singh, S. Bjorkly, & S. Fazel, (eds.) International Perspectives on Violence Risk Assessment. New York: Oxford University Press, Forthcoming
21 Pages Posted: 29 Sep 2015
Date Written: September 23, 2015
The risk of violent and recidivistic behavior occupies a central role in a variety of legal decisions. This chapter provides a non-technical overview of the various processes by which violence risk is assessed. These include unstructured clinical judgment, actuarial risk assessment, and structured professional judgment. Benefits and drawbacks of each approach are noted. Conceptual and practical issues related to risk assessment are then discussed, including the differences between risk assessment and risk management, the importance of operationally defining the outcome variable, the role that “accuracy” should play in selecting a risk assessment instrument, and the import of communicating the risk of violence is an appreciable manner to a legal decision maker.
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