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Lecture 5

WEEK 5 Reading Notes

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PSYC 268
Deborah Connolly

PSYC 268 – Fall 2012 Week 5 Book Readings: Chapter 2 pp. 45-52; Chapter 10 pp. 274-287 CHAPTER 2: FORENSIC ASSESSMENT IN CRIMINAL DOMAINS RISK ASSESSMENT Approaches to Risk Management 1. Unstructured Clinical Judgment – clinical decision making o Ideographic approach – focuses on the specific individual rather than on groups of individuals o Qualitative approach – relies on subjective (clinician) judgments o The clinician who is conducting a violence risk assessment in this manner will use his or her best clinical judgment regarding the likelihood that the examinee will be violent in the future 2. Actuarial Decision-Making o Nomothetic approach – based on research done on large groups of people o Quantitative approach – statistical data o The clinician who is conducting a violence risk assessment will use a formal, algorithmic, objective approach to make a decision o The clinician must incorporate his or her professional experience by using a formulaic approach that takes into consideration specific risk markers, each given a specific weight o This approach has been found to be considerably more accurate 3. Structured Professional Judgment o Melds the actuarial and clinical approaches o A specific array of risk markers is considered, thus ensuring that all clinicians take into consideration the same risk factors for each examinee o The clinician is able to introduce his or her professional experience to temper or augment the actuarial prediction Violence Risk Factors – past violent behavior; young age; relationship instability; employment instability; substance use; major mental disorder; early home or school maladjustment; violations of conditional release; lack of insight, etc Risk Assessment Instruments - Violence Risk Appraisal Guide (VRAG by Quincey, Harris 2005) – used to predict the probability of violence within a particular time frame in offenders with mental disorders; actuarial - Violence Prediction Scheme (VPS by Webster, Harris 1994) ; actuarial - HCR-20 (Webster, Douglas 1997) – information and criteria for evaluating 10 historical factors, 5 clinical factors, and 5 risk management factors and encompasses past, present, and future risk considerations; structured professional judgment - Spousal Assault Risk Assessment Guide (SARA by Kropp, Hart 1998); structured professional judgment - Sexual Violence Risk-20 (SVR-20 by Boer, Hart 1997) – information and criteria for evaluating 11 psychosocial adjustment, 7 sexual offense, and 2 future plans variables for the evaluation of violence risk in sex offenders; structured professional judgment - Sex Offender Risk Assessment Guide (SORAG by Quinsey, Harris 2005) – used to predict the probability of violence and sexual recidivism in previously convicted sex offenders - Rapid Risk Assessment for Sex Offense Recidivism (RRASOR by Hanson 1997) – brief 4-item screening instrument used to evaluate risk for sexual violence in previously convicted sex offenders - STATIC-99/STATIC-2002 (Hanson, Thornton 1999) – used to determine the long-term potential for sexual recidivism in male sex offenders - Sex Offender Needs Assessment Rating (SONAR by Hanson, Harris 2000) – used to measure change in level of risk for sex offenders - Minnesota Sex Offender Screening Tool (MnSOST-R by Epperson, Kaul 1998) – used to determine level of risk for sexual recidivism among rapists and intrafamilial child molesters Psychopathy and Risk Assessment Psychopathy – personality style that encompasses both behavioral and affective (emotional) component - Characteristics – glib, grandiose, callous, remorseless, reckless, manipulative, impulsive, dishonest, parasitic, and unable to experience the normal range and depth of emotional experience - Individuals with psychopathic personality styles are more likely to engage in general criminal behavior and violent behavior than their nonpsychopathic counterparts Violence Risk Assessment for Psychopaths - Different Factors o The nature of the violence or the types of violence that may occur o The severity or seriousness of the violence o The frequency of the violence or how often it might occur o The imminence or how soon violence might occur o The likelihood or probability that violence will occur - Risk Management – refers to the strategy of attempting to reduce the probability that an individual will be violent by describing conditions under which it may increase and other where it may decrease o To manage one’s risk, one must know the conditions that may serve to increase or decrease the probability of violence so that these can be monitored or adjusted accordingly o i.e. access and use of drugs or alcohol - Assess through risk assessment instruments; interviews with offender, individuals who know the offender PSYCHOPATHY AND MALINGERING Psychopathy – constellation of affective, interpersonal, and behavioral characteristics - Often has significant impact on the individual’s understanding of and functioning within his or her environment - Characteristics: lacking emotional responsiveness, having no sense of shame, being superficially charming and manipulative, showing irresponsible behavior, being inadequately motivated - Distinct from antisocial personality disorder (APD) though they have some similarities o Psychopathy is a broader concept than APD, and encompasses an interpersonal/affective component in addition to the behavioral component of APD - Hare’s Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R by Hare 1991, 2003) o 20 items that are rated on the basis of file information and an interview with the examinee Malingering – the feigned production or exaggeration of psychological or physical symptoms to achieve some external incentive - Validity of psychological assessment instrument hinges on examinees being honest and forthright in their effort and responses - Formal evaluation of malingering might include the use of a forensic instrument developed specifically for the purposes of detection of malingering o Structured Interview of Reported Symptoms (SIRS by Rogers, Bagby 1992) o Miller Forensic Assessment of Symptoms Test (M-FAST by Miller 1995) o Test of Memory Malingering (TOMM by Tombaugh 1996) o Validity Indicator Profile (VIP by Frederick 1997) - Informal evaluation might involve only a very close scrutiny of the results of various self-reported information and various collateral sources of information without any specific testing - Two things individuals might fake: (1) psychiatric symptoms, (2) cognitive impairment o Malingering psychiatric symptoms – pretending to experience symptoms of a mental disorder o Malingering cognitive impairment – pretending to be experiencing memory or other mental impairment CHAPTER 10: CORRECTIONAL PSYCHOLOGY OFFENDER RISK ASSESSMENT AND MANAGEMENT Offender Risk Assessment – the process of identifying risk and protective factors for crime Offender Risk Management – the process of preventing crime by influencing risk and protective factors Risk – can only be forecast with uncertainty - Inherently dynamic and contextual i.e. depends on where one lives, what kinds of services they receive, motivation to establish pro-social adjustment, whether they experience adverse life events - Not a characteristic of the physical world; cannot be evaluated objectively but rather, is a subjective perception Risk Factor – perceptions regarding the degree or quantum of risk in a given case, are based in turn on judgments regarding the collective influence of myriad individual things or elements - Fixed risk markers – do not change status over time - Variable risk markers – change status over time, but these changes do not influence the outcome - Causal risk factors – change status over time, and these changes influence the outcome Decision Theories – crime is a voluntary, purposeful human behavior - The decision is a cost-benefit analysis - Psychology or Criminal Conduct (PCC) perspective - General Personality and Cognitive Social Learning (GPCSL) perspective - Focuses on the offender’s personality, attitudes, and experiences Assessment – the process of gathering information for use in decision making Offender Risk Assessment – process of evaluating offenders to (1) characterize the risk that they will commit crime
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