Behavioral sciences and analysis section:
Research done on types of offender (eg personality disorders – they tend to act in a
certain way, research done on personality types)
What is meant by risk assesment: in forensic area risk is assessed for risk to others
(violence), interest in risk posed to any one else
Risk is refered to dangerousness
It is to predict likelihood of something, the probability ( percentage of likelihood), it
is to categorize as well ( low risk, high risk, moderate risk)
Purpose and procedural aspects:
The purpose is to protect society, to make decisions about somebody for something they
have not done yet. The other purpose is to protect the person themselves.
Overall it helps inform decisions (seen all across the justice system) risk asssments are
done and then it is determine if person is dangerous or not. When someone goes to court
and the parole board determines how risky a person is ( this should not be confused with
recovery, that the person should be completely recovered, risk is to determine if they can
still function without opposing danger)
Procedural aspect: important to follow the explicit manuals used to determine if person is
risky/at risk. for this reason it is important for diagnoser to be trained and have expertise.
You should use multiple sources of info (shouldn’t just relyat one piece of info to
determine risk, look through person’s history etc)
Important aspects of Assessment:
Base rate: how often something occurs. Eg if something rarely occurs its much difficult
to predict it’s likelihood. Base rates are also meaningful from a statistics perspective and
a criminal perspective.
Reliability: the repeated answer no matter how many times the measurement or
assessment is given.
Validity: insuring that we are actually assessing what we think we are
Types of Factors used in risk assessment:
Static: long term predictions, that a person will remain the same way for a long term.
Long term risk assessment. Good to determine if person should be released in public
Dynamic: these types of factors fluctuate, don’t remain the same . these are useful when
person is being assessed of a regular basis (i.e every week ) its not helpful if we want to
determine to release the person because there is uncertainty of weather they will remain
the same. Stable means that a person has fluctuating bhv but these are things that can be
intervined with ( small issues like issues with employment that can be dealt with time,
acute means serious fluctuating bhv. If person has drinking problem and they continue to
drink than that factor needs to be addressed right away.
Protective: factors about the person that help reduce risk. Groups of factors associated with risk:
Biographical: eg if someone is a sex offender, its imp to know if they live close to kids or
not; age at which a person first offended ( if offender was young at first offence than it
can be determined that it is a part of their personality)
Psychological symptoms: a person’s personality, substance use, and sexual or deviant
preferences ( difference between pedofil is that they have desires but they don’t act on it,
molestation is the actual bhv)
Criminal history: failure to abide by probation conditions, frequency and types of