Textbook Notes (378,536)
CA (167,156)
UTSC (19,214)
Psychology (9,984)
PSYC39H3 (204)
Chapter 12

Chapter 12 Notes

21 Pages
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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC39H3
Professor
David Nussbaum

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Risk Assessment
The goal of this chapter is to explore the major issues associated with risk predications a forensic
context. In particular, the focus will be on understanding the take of assessing risk and predicting
violence
What is Risk Assessment?
The process of risk assessment includes both a prediction and management component
oPrediction component describes the probability that an individual will commit future
criminal violent acts
The focus of this component is on identifying the risk factors that are related to
the likelihood of future violence
oManagement component describes the development of intervention to manage or reduce
the likelihood of future violence
The focus of this component is on identifying what treatments might reduce the
individual level of risk or what conditions need to implemented to managed the
individuals risk
Risk Assessment: When are they Conducted?
Risk assessment are routinely conducted in the civil and criminal contexts
oCivil contexts refer to the private rights of individuals and legal proceedings connected
with such rights
oCriminal contexts refer to situations in which an individual has been charged with a crime
Common for both contexts is the need for information that would enable legal judgements to be
made concerning the probability of individuals committing some kind of act
Civil Setting
A number of civil contexts require risk assessment:
1). Civil commitment requires an individual to be hospitalized involuntarily if he or she has a
mental illness and poses a danger to himself or herself or others
oA mental health worker (Psychiatrist or psychologist) , would need to know the
probability of violence associated with various mental disorders and be able to identify
whether the circumstances associated with individual patients would affect the likelihood
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that they would harm others or themselves
2). Assessment of risk in Child protection context involves the laws that are in place to protect
children from abuse
oThe risk of physical or sexual abuse or neglect is considered when a government protect
agency, such as Childrens Aid Society, decides whether to temporarily remove a child or
to terminate paternal rights
3).Immigrants law prohibit the admission of individuals into Canada if there are reasonable
grounds to believe they will engage in acts of violence
4).School and labour regulations also provide provisions to prevent any kind of act that would
endanger others
5).Other civil contexts include duty to warn and limits of confidentiality
The Canadian Psychological Associations Code of Ethics for Psychologists includes a guide to help
psychologists decide the most ethical action for any potential dilemma; this guide is closely connected to
ethical theory, but lacks empirical support
Criminal Settings
The assessment of risk occurs at nearly every major decisions point in the criminal justice and
forensic psychiatric systems, including pre-trial, sentencing, and release
A person can be denied bail if there is a substantial likelihood that he or she will commit another
criminal offence
oIn the case of adolescent offenders should only be committed to secure custody if they are
considered at high risk if placed in open custody, or if they were to serve a probation
term in the community
The risk assessment in criminal settings is the disclosure of information about potential risk
Solicitor-client privilege is fundamental to criminal proceedings- for lawyers to adequately
represent their clients, they must be able to freely discuss the case with clients
Case Study:
oSmith v. Jonas (1999) involved a psychiatrist who was hired to aid defence lawyer in
preparing a case- the client was a man accused of aggravated sexual assault on a
prostitute. The accused told the psychiatrist of his plans to kidnap, sexually assault and
kill prostitutes. The psychiatrist told the defence lawyer about his concerns that the
accused was likely to commit future client offences unless he received treatment. When
the psychiatrist found out that the defence lawyer was not going to address his concerns at
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the sentencing hearing (the accuse pled guilty to the charge of aggravated assault) he
filled an affidavit providing his opinion about the level of risk posed by the accused. The
trial judge ruled that due to concerns about public safety, the psychiatrist was duty-bound
to disclose to the police and the Crown counsels the information he obtained. The case
was appealed to the Supreme Court, which rules that in cases where they is clear serious
and imminent danger, public safety outweighs solicitor-cline privilege
Risk assessment is a routine component of many sentencing decisions (Kind of sentencing
decisions)
oAfter 1947, when habitual criminal legislation was introduced offenders could be
sentenced to indefinite period of incarceration.
oIn 1977 dangerous offenders legislation was enacted that requires mental health
professional to provide an assessment of risk for violence
Risk assessment is also required for decisions concerning release from correctional and forensic
psychiatric institutions, such as parole
oIf a person is sentenced to prison in Canada, he or she can apply to the National Parole
Board to get early release
Parole Board members use a variety of sources of information to decide the
likelihood that the offender will commit another violent offences if released
Most offenders get released on statutory release (after serving two-thirds of their
sentence), statutory release can be denied if the offender is likely to commit
further violent offences
Risk assessment plays an integral role in legal decision making, both in civil and criminal
settings, allowing informed decisions that weight the likelihood that an individual will engage in a
dangerous or criminal act in the future
Types of Prediction Outcomes
Predicting the future events will result in one of the four possible outcomes
The definition provided below are stated in terms of predicting violent acts but could be used for
any specific outcomes
oA true positive represents a correct prediction and occurs when a person who is
predicated to be violent engages in violence
oA true negative is also a correct prediction and occurs when a person who is predicted
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Description
Risk Assessment The goal of this chapter is to explore the major issues associated with risk predications a forensic context. In particular, the focus will be on understanding the take of assessing risk and predicting violence What is Risk Assessment? The process of risk assessment includes both a prediction and management component o Prediction component describes the probability that an individual will commit future criminal violent acts The focus of this component is on identifying the risk factors that are related to the likelihood of future violence o Management component describes the development of intervention to manage or reduce the likelihood of future violence The focus of this component is on identifying what treatments might reduce the individual level of risk or what conditions need to implemented to managed the individuals risk Risk Assessment: When are they Conducted? Risk assessment are routinely conducted in the civil and criminal contexts o Civil contexts refer to the private rights of individuals and legal proceedings connected with such rights o Criminal contexts refer to situations in which an individual has been charged with a crime Common for both contexts is the need for information that would enable legal judgements to be made concerning the probability of individuals committing some kind of act Civil Setting A number of civil contexts require risk assessment: 1). Civil commitment requires an individual to be hospitalized involuntarily if he or she has a mental illness and poses a danger to himself or herself or others o A mental health worker (Psychiatrist or psychologist) , would need to know the probability of violence associated with various mental disorders and be able to identify whether the circumstances associated with individual patients would affect the likelihood www.notesolution.com that they would harm others or themselves 2). Assessment of risk in Child protection context involves the laws that are in place to protect children from abuse o The risk of physical or sexual abuse or neglect is considered when a government protect agency, such as Childrens Aid Society, decides whether to temporarily remove a child or to terminate paternal rights 3).Immigrants law prohibit the admission of individuals into Canada if there are reasonable grounds to believe they will engage in acts of violence 4).School and labour regulations also provide provisions to prevent any kind of act that would endanger others 5).Other civil contexts include duty to warn and limits of confidentiality The Canadian Psychological Associations Code of Ethics for Psychologists includes a guide to help psychologists decide the most ethical action for any potential dilemma; this guide is closely connected to ethical theory, but lacks empirical support Criminal Settings The assessment of risk occurs at nearly every major decisions point in the criminal justice and forensic psychiatric systems, including pre-trial, sentencing, and release A person can be denied bail if there is a substantial likelihood that he or she will commit another criminal offence o In the case of adolescent offenders should only be committed to secure custody if they are considered at high risk if placed in open custody, or if they were to serve a probation term in the community The risk assessment in criminal settings is the disclosure of information about potential risk Solicitor-client privilege is fundamental to criminal proceedings- for lawyers to adequately represent their clients, they must be able to freely discuss the case with clients Case Study: o Smith v. Jonas (1999) involved a psychiatrist who was hired to aid defence lawyer in preparing a case- the client was a man accused of aggravated sexual assault on a prostitute. The accused told the psychiatrist of his plans to kidnap, sexually assault and kill prostitutes. The psychiatrist told the defence lawyer about his concerns that the accused was likely to commit future client offences unless he received treatment. When the psychiatrist found out that the defence lawyer was not going to address his concerns at www.notesolution.com
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