PSY328H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 9: Percentile, Meta-Analysis, Sex Offender

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15 Mar 2017
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Violence and Risk Assessment
Risk Assessment
" The process of identifying and studying hazards to reduce the probability of their occurrence"
Do risk assessment in all different types of fields
How do we define violence?
o Physical injury vs. psychological damage
Physical injury is obv but psychological damage
EX: video in your washroom being shown to everyone
That's not physical damage, but psychological damage
o Actual harm vs. intent
Focus on the intent
o Instrumental vs. reactive
Instrumental violence -> premeditated for some reason
Doing it for some reward or punishment (doing it for some instrumental reason)
Reactive violence is done bc youre provoked (youre angry, sad,etc)
o Sexual vs. non - sexual
Prediction in the Forensic Context
To predict is to make a statement about the likelihood of a future event or behaviour
o Predicting the future is very hard, esp with humans
o Only 10% of crimes are violent
Risk refers to a condition that exists as a function of the presence of someone/ something
perceived as dangerous
Risk Assessment VS. Dangerousness
Dangerousness
o Case by case
Look at someone, their crime, their case and see if this person is dangerous or not
o Vague
What does it mean to be dangerous?
o Stable trait
Either youre dangerous or not
o Predicts violence
Risk Assessment
o Empirical data
Who else committed these crimes? Likelihood of it happening again, etc
o Specific
"this person is dangerous when their drinking" " this person is dangerous when they
are around children"
Circumstances where the danger is most likely to arise
As specific as you can possibly be
o Changes over time
Youth are very dangerous and as they get older they become less violent
o Prevents violence
Risk Assessment
Identify persons likely to commit violence and develop interventions to reduce risk
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Predicting future behaviour is extremely difficult (Fundamental Attribution Error)
We assume violent behaviour is a reflection is behaviour
Have to consider why people are put in incarceration for a long time and the effects it has on
them
o The capability of them being able to function in the real world, they make get overwhelmed
o Some people like being in jail
Purpose of Risk Assessment
Why do we measure it?
o Protect society and the person
From themselves and from others
Don't want to keep people in jail
To help inform decisions regarding: -> risk assessment is hard to do and predicting human
behaviour can be difficult
o Threat posed by an individual to others
o Treatment options - intensity, modality, and targeting of treatment
o Justice decisions (bail, detention, location for detention, LTO or DO applications)
o Sentencing and dispositional planning
o Supervision and case planning
o Discharge from custody
Risk Markers
1. Gender - 90% of violent crime done by men
Men are more likely to get charged with assault than men
Perhaps it's the case that women mature faster
Or^ women are getting more and more violent
Women are far more likely to be victims of crime at all ages
2. Age - age is inversely related to risk
18-26 is 10% of the pop, but they are responsible for 15 - 20 % of violence
The higher someone age is past 26, the less violent they are
People under 16 are more likely to attack police officers
3. Previous Antisocial and Criminal Behaviour
One of the best predictors of future behaviours is past behaviours -> however, its not the
always great
Even non violent crime predicts greater violence in future
Establishing a person's norms
4. Conditional release, parole and probation violation
People who have been involved in the CJS but they have been given a release/ break
Violation of conditions for release
5. Delinquency
Maladjustment in youth years (suspensions, detentions, expelled, etc)
Want to make sure that youth are not just "going through a stage" in life
Putting them too deep into the CJS will make it hard to rehabilitate them later and making
them turn their lives around
6. Dysfunctional family environment
Neglect, emotional abuse, divorce
High conflict family
Children lack a sense of individuality differently at certain ages
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