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Adelle Forth (107)
Lecture 20

Lecture 20

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Carleton University
PSYC 2400
Adelle Forth

Lecture 20—Risk Assessment Thursday, March 17, 2011 - Huge area of research - US- Forensic Psychology conference—they’d ask why all the Canadians are researching risk assessment—Don Andrews, Bob Hare (UBC, psychopathy), Jim Bonta public safety, system to track people everywhere o This doesn’t exist in US - A lot of Canadian researchers - Quiz 3 o Did well—mean was 75% o Over 50% in A range - Violence Risk Assessment o Two components—prediction and management o Used to be that in the ‘70s-‘80s, people would say risk assessment is used to determine whether someone is dangerous or not—dichotomy o We’ve gone past that—no longer a dichotomy. Looking at range instead, and probabilities (likelihood that someone would do a violent act) o Used to be prediction—now it’s prediction and MANAGEMENT (want to mitigate the risk) - When would risk assessment be needed? o Civil settings and criminal settings o So many risk assessment tools o Blue: civil settings  Civil commitment—someone taken to mental hospital, can’t take care of himself/herself (mentally ill), have to do risk assessment (should this person be sent back home? Risk factors for suicide?)  School threats—someone sends e-mail to teacher/student saying he/she is pissed off, upset, student forwards e-mail to teacher, principal, committee. Risk assessment—will this escalate to school shooting? • **Base rate: prevalence of the thing. Ex. Base rate for engaging in violence upon parole is 1% • Extremely difficult to predict something with low base rate • Difficult to identify who’s going to do a school shooting based on the low base rate.  Child protection—context of whether to remove child from home (abuse)—likelihood that parents would engage in more abusive act, etc. Or in custody decisions, whether there’s risk.  Duty to warn  **Also: immigration—don’t want to allow people to immigrate if they might engage in violence in our society o Green: could be civil or criminal  Systematic research—plenty of this. Especially when coming up with risk assessment tools. o Black: criminal settings  Sexual violent predator—only used in US. Individual who’s had at least two prior sexual assaults, served sentence, and then will be assessed at time of release. Need to make decision of the likelihood that this individual will commit another sexual offense particularly. • Predicting sexual re-offenses is very difficult—base rate much lower than violent offenses. • In 5 year follow up, about 11% re-offend. Base rate is low. Despite this, in US, they say that they can predict which sex offender will re-offend, so they do risk assessment and keep them in jail. • We don’t have that.  Death penalty—likelihood of future violence  Level of security—transferred into provincial/federal system, have to decide between minimum, medium, maximum. Often based on the evaluation of the individual—likelihood that this person might escape. (although this decision is sometimes based on severity of offense)  DO/LTO—evaluation of future risk. We talked about this.  Release decisions—we also talked about this. Day parole, full parole, statutory release, etc.  **Also: bail decision—release on bail, or stay until trial.  Level of supervision—parole/probation officer every week, two weeks, once a month, etc. Support. - Duty to warn/protect o Be familiar with Tarasoff case o Very famous in California o Tardar—student from India. Came to India. Didn’t know the norms of relationships in North America. o New Year’s Eve—victim (Tatanna) kissed him under mistletoe at New Year’s Eve. He thought they would get married and lived together. o Became very focused on her. She wasn’t interested. Kept pestering her, she rejected him. o She left to go to Brazil/Peru for summer program. o He went to counselling services—talked to psychologist, mentioned how upset he was that she “led him on”. o Over second interview, he told psychologist that he wanted to kill her. Psychologist had to make a decision—there’s a threat, he knows who the victim. Do I break patient-therapist confidentiality or not? o Psychologist decided to phone campus security (broke confidentiality), told them that he was worried about the boy. Security went to his dorm and talked to him, he denied it. Campus security AGAIN did a risk assessment—determined he was not at risk o Tatanna came back—October 1969—he went to her dorm with a knife and stabbed her to death o **Her parents sued the university and the psychologist for not protecting the victim. They claim that they and she were never told that she was at risk.  If you know who the potential victim is, you should inform them.  Case was settled—university paid family.  Now it’s the case that if you’re a psychologist/psychiatrist and are given threat of serious physical injury, you’re liable and must contact that victim. o He was convicted of manslaughter—served 4 years of a 5 year sentence, got deported to India. o In Canada, the Code of Ethics for Psychologists says that you must do anything possible to prevent serious injury/death to anyone.  MAY include reporting to the appropriate authorities or an intended victim  MAY, not SHALL—don’t necessarily have to - What would you do? o Defence hires you—risk evaluation on client o Case:  40 year old, male, white, in Vancouver  Charged with aggravated sexual assault on prostitute (injury done to her)  Out on bail o During assessment:  Deviant sexual fantasies—kidnapping, sexually assaulting, killing prostitute  He says that the offense was a practice try out  Has a rape kit—soft red rubber ball for mouth, handcuffs, tape, etc.  Building up vacation time, to keep her for a few days and assault her o You write report, concluding that he is very high risk—may escalate to sexual homicide—at risk RIGHT NOW. o Defence attorney says that you won’t testify (doesn’t want you to say this to court) o **WHAT WOULD YOU DO?**  Class ideas • Tell the media—warn sex trade workers that there is person out there. • Get licence plate number, phone up police, tell them to follow him around. • Tell prosecution lawyer. o But if defence lawyers got together and realise that you went and told prosecution, you wouldn’t be likely to find much work. • Contact the judge.  Prof: • This was actual case—Smith v. Jones • Psychiatrist wrote to the judge, sent the judge parts of his risk assessment report • The individual was convicted of the aggravated sexual assault • Went to supreme court • Psychiatrist got in trouble with defence for breaking confidentiality (got charged) • **Supreme Court gave criteria for when to break therapist- patient confidentiality and client-lawyer—if there’s identified person, or group of persons. o In this case, it was very clear. Sex-trade workers in the east area. • Has to be threat of death/serious bodily harm. o Killing and raping for several days. • Imminence of potential harm o This was going to happen soon. Was planning vacation time. • Psychiatrist was charged professionally for breaking confidentiality, but was cleared. o There’s some debate as to how imminent this was. o But the guy had a rape kit. o **This was around the time that Robert Pickton was picking up sex trade workers from Vancouver, taking them to his farm and killing them. o **They were disappearing at very high rate. o **Psychiatrist thought maybe this guy was involved. Sensed that he had to do something. - Types of risk factors o STATIC=historical, factors that do not change with intervention  Ex. Past criminal history, age, experiencing child maltreatment o DYNAMIC=factors that fluctuate or can change  Ex. Substance abuse (current level), mental state (currently) - Risk factors for criminal behaviour o Risk factors for man and woman, children and adults, sex offender/violent offenders/mentally disordered offenders, ARE VERY SIMILAR o Big Four  Most robust/predictive • History of antisocial behaviour o **PAST HISTORY: STRONGEST PREDICTOR • Antisocial attitudes o Justify it’s okay to do something that’s criminal in nature, wouldn’t feel bad o Will do it—supporting your behaviour o Pretty strong correlation • Antisocial associates o For juveniles: peer associates o Associating with antisocial people • Antisocial personality pattern o Catch-all: people with callous, lack of empathy, psychopathic traits o **All of these are true for sexual offending o Central Eight  Big four plus another four • Family/marital problems o Getting stressed, not getting support from family • School/work problems • Problematic leisure time o Instead of pro-social
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