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PSYC39H3 (204)
Chapter 12

Chapter 12 -- Risk Assessment

20 Pages
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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC39H3
Professor
David Nussbaum

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Chapter 12- risk ssessment
Learning objectives
1.Define the components of risk assessment
2.List what role risk assessment play in Canada
3.Describe the types of correct and incorrect risk predictions
4.Differentiate among static, stable and acute dynamic risk factors
5.Describe unstructured clinical judgements, actuarial prediction and structured
professional judgement
6.List the four major types of risk factors
Introduction:
Predicting future violence has been described as one of the most complex and
controversial issues in behavioural science and law
Bonta 2002; concludes that risk assessment is a double edged sword- it can be used
to justify the application of severe sanctions or to moderate extreme penalties
We are NOT at a point of a prediction free of error BUT systematic risk assessment
provides judicial decision makers with much needed information to help them make
their decisions
Goal of chapter= understanding the task of assessing risk and predicting violence
WHAT IS RISK ASSESSMENT?
Prior to 1990s risk was seen as a dichotomy- were dangerous or not
Now risk is seen as a range- person can vary in degree to which s/he is considered
dangerous
This shift has added dimension of probability (of whether a person will commit
violence)
Probability has 2 considerations
oTime- Highlights idea that probability changes over time- function of time
www.notesolution.com
oSituational and personal characteristics- Recognizes that risk level reflects
an interaction among a persons characteristics, background and future
situations that will affect their engaging in violent acts
Process of risk assessment includes both a prediction and management compondent
oPrediction component= describes the probability that an individual will
commit future criminal or violent acts
Focus is to identify risk factors associated with the likelihood of future
violence
oManagement component= describes the development of interventions to
manage or reduce the likelihood of future violence
Focus is to see what conditions need to be implemented to manage the
individuals risk
Hart 1998- the critical function of risk assessments is violence prevention not
violence prediction
RISK ASSESSMENTS: WHEN ARE THEY CONDUCTED?
Risk assessments (RA) are conducted in civial and criminal contexts
oCivial context= private rights of individuals and the legal proceedings
connected to such rights
oCriminal context = situations in which someone has been charged with a
crime
Civil; 5 civial contexts that require risk assessment
1.Civil commitment; a person has to be hospitalized involuntarily if s/he
has a mental illness which poses a danger to him/herself and others
2.Child protection; assessment of risk in child protection involves laws
that arein place to protect children from abuse
3.Immigration; prohibit the admission of individuals into Canada if
there is a reasonable belief that they will engage in violent acts
4.Duty to warn and Limits of confidentiality
a.Examples; W v. Egdell- patient confined to psychiatric facility
www.notesolution.com
after commiting murders dr found that patient had a lack of
remorse and wanted to continue with his ways- dr. Wanted to
tell the facility but lawyer tried to stop it- didnt work because
public safety overrides the duties of confidentiality
Criminal settings;
o a person can be denied bail if there is substantial likelihood that he or she
will commit another criminal offence
oSame as in civil- important issue in RA in criminal settings is disclosure of
information
oCase that shows when solicitor-client priviledge and doctor patient
confidentiality must be set aside for public safety
Smith v. Jones- accused told psychiatrist of his plans to continue to
kidnap and sexually assault a prostitute- then told defence lawyer-
lawyer was not going to address dr.s concerns so dr. Filed for affidavit-
judge rules that due to public concerns, psychiatrist was duty bound to
disclose the information- case appealed to supreme court that ruled in
cases where there is clear, serious and imminent danger, public safety
outweighs solicitor-client privilege
oIn 1997- changes to legislation make indefinite incarceration the only option
if the offender is found to be dangerous also, new category of dangerous
persons were created referred to as long term offenders
To be a long term defender- must pose a substaintial risk of
reoffending
oIs also used in decisions concerning release from correctional and psychiatric
insititutions such as parole
TYPES OF PREDICTION OUTCOMES
Predicting future events will result in one of the following 4
oTrue positive; is a correct prediction and occurs when a person who is
predicted to be violent engages in violence
oTrue negative; correct prediction, occurs when a person who is predicted not
www.notesolution.com

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Description
Chapter 12- risk ssessment Learning objectives 1. Define the components of risk assessment 2. List what role risk assessment play in Canada 3. Describe the types of correct and incorrect risk predictions 4. Differentiate among static, stable and acute dynamic risk factors 5. Describe unstructured clinical judgements, actuarial prediction and structured professional judgement 6. List the four major types of risk factors Introduction: Predicting future violence has been described as one of the most complex and controversial issues in behavioural science and law Bonta 2002; concludes that risk assessment is a double edged sword- it can be used to justify the application of severe sanctions or to moderate extreme penalties We are NOT at a point of a prediction free of error BUT systematic risk assessment provides judicial decision makers with much needed information to help them make their decisions Goal of chapter= understanding the task of assessing risk and predicting violence WHAT IS RISK ASSESSMENT? Prior to 1990s risk was seen as a dichotomy- were dangerous or not Now risk is seen as a range- person can vary in degree to which she is considered dangerous This shift has added dimension of probability (of whether a person will commit violence) Probability has 2 considerations o Time- Highlights idea that probability changes over time- function of time www.notesolution.com o Situational and personal characteristics- Recognizes that risk level reflects an interaction among a persons characteristics, background and future situations that will affect their engaging in violent acts Process of risk assessment includes both a prediction and management compondent o Prediction component= describes the probability that an individual will commit future criminal or violent acts Focus is to identify risk factors associated with the likelihood of future violence o Management component= describes the development of interventions to manage or reduce the likelihood of future violence Focus is to see what conditions need to be implemented to manage the individuals risk Hart 1998- the critical function of risk assessments is violence prevention not violence prediction RISK ASSESSMENTS: WHEN ARE THEY CONDUCTED? Risk assessments (RA) are conducted in civial and criminal contexts o Civial context= private rights of individuals and the legal proceedings connected to such rights o Criminal context = situations in which someone has been charged with a crime Civil; 5 civial contexts that require risk assessment 1. Civil commitment; a person has to be hospitalized involuntarily if she has a mental illness which poses a danger to himherself and others 2. Child protection; assessment of risk in child protection involves laws that arein place to protect children from abuse 3. Immigration; prohibit the admission of individuals into Canada if there is a reasonable belief that they will engage in violent acts 4. Duty to warn and Limits of confidentiality a. Examples; W v. Egdell- patient confined to psychiatric facility www.notesolution.com
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