Predicting future violence among criminal offenders is notoriously difficult. In the previous editions of this popular book, the authors argued that community risk management is best done with actuarial assessment. Combining what is known about violence prediction, clinical decision making, and the literature on treatment outcome and program evaluation, they introduced and chronicled the development of their landmark assessment instruments, the Violence Risk Appraisal Guide (VRAG), and Sex Offender Risk Appraisal Guide (SORAG). These have become go-to resources for forensic psychologists in the trenches today.
In this new and fully updated text, the authors review the major changes in the risk assessment field, which include a much larger and richer empirical literature, a focus on dynamic risk management among supervised offenders, and commentaries on the use and effectiveness of expert clinical judgment in determining risk.
Perhaps most importantly, they also introduce the VRAG-R, a new actuarial tool that is easier to score than the VRAG and the SORAG while delivering equally accurate results.
Written with the authors' usual clarity and keen insight, this book is a must-read for legal professionals and forensic psychologists, policymakers, and all those working with offender populations who hope to eliminate recidivism.
I. Historical and Methodological Context
Historical Perspective and Early Prediction ResearchMethods and Measurement
II. A New Generation of Follow-Up Research
Mentally Disordered and Other Violent OffendersSex Offenders
III. Development of Actuarial Violence Risk Assessment Tools
The Actuarial Prediction of Violence
IV. Changing the Practice of Violence Risk Assessment
Clinical JudgmentCriticisms of Actuarial Risk Assessment
V. Altering the Risk of Violence and Final Conclusions
Treatment and ManagementFinal Conclusions
A. Violence Risk Appraisal Guide (VRAG) Items and Norms
B. Sex Offender Risk Appraisal Guide (SORAG) Items and Norms
C. Violence Risk Appraisal Guide–Revised (VRAG–R) Items and Norms
D. Supplementary Scoring Instructions for the Violence Risk Appraisal Guide, Sex Offender Risk Appraisal Guide, and the Violence Risk Appraisal Guide–Revised Items
E. General Questions About the Violence Risk Appraisal Guide, Sex Offender Risk Appraisal Guide, and the Violence Risk Appraisal Guide–Revised
F. Prorating and Substituting for Missing Items on the Violence Risk Appraisal Guide, Sex Offender Risk Appraisal Guide, and Violence Risk Appraisal Guide–Revised
G. Example Psychosocial History Suitable for Scoring the Violence Risk Appraisal Guide, Sex Offender Risk Appraisal Guide, and the Violence Risk Appraisal Guide–Revised
H. Example Psychosocial History Suitable for Scoring the Violence Risk Appraisal Guide and the Violence Risk Appraisal Guide–Revised
I. Model Risk Appraisal Report Based on the Psychosocial History in Appendix G Using the Violence Risk Appraisal Guide
J. Forensic Institutional Decisions or Recommendations Scheme
K. Problem Identification Checklist (File Version)
L. Proximal Risk Factor ScaleM. Dynamic Risk Appraisal Scale
About the Authors
About the Authors:
Grant T. Harris, PhD, is adjunct associate professor of psychology at Queen's University at Kingston and adjunct professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto. He is a fellow of the Canadian Psychological Association, received the Career Contribution Award from the Criminal Justice Section of the Canadian Psychological Association, and is a member of the research group awarded the Amethyst Award for Outstanding Achievement by Ontario Public Servants.
Dr. Harris has been awarded several competitive research grants and has published more than 150 scholarly works on the topics of actuarial violence risk assessment, sexual aggression, psychopathy, and the assessment and treatment of offenders and psychiatric clients. For each topic, the work has long addressed four issues: risks for the phenomenon, appropriate intervention, translation of knowledge for practitioners, and policy implications of the findings.
Marnie E. Rice, PhD, is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Canada's highest academic accolade. She has worked at Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care (formerly called the Mental Health Centre Penetanguishene) for 40 years as a clinical psychologist, researcher, and, for 14 years, director of research. She is currently Research Director Emerita and continues her research part time.
Dr. Rice is also professor of psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences (part time) at McMaster University, professor of psychiatry (adjunct) at the University of Toronto, and associate professor of psychology (adjunct) at Queen's University. She has more than 150 scientific publications, including approximately 30 on the topic of violence risk assessment.
She has been the recipient of many awards, including APA's Award for Distinguished Contribution to Research in Public Policy and the Career Contribution Award from the Criminal Justice Section of the Canadian Psychological Association.
Vernon L. Quinsey, PhD, is Professor Emeritus of psychology, biology, and psychiatry at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario and former director of research at the Penetanguishene, Ontario, Mental Health Centre. He is a recipient of a Significant Achievement Award from the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers, a Career Contribution Award from the Criminal Justice Section of the Canadian Psychological Association, and the Donald Hebb Award for contributions to psychology as a science from the Canadian Psychological Association.
Catherine A. Cormier, BA, was for many years a research and clinical psychometrist with the Research Department at the Mental Health Centre Penetanguishene, now the Waypoint Centre. Her work was devoted to research, and clinical assessment and treatment for violent offenders, particularly sex offenders and psychopaths.
Ms. Cormier and her colleagues also developed the Ontario Domestic Assault Risk Assessment, the actuarial prediction instrument for domestic assaulters in conjunction with the Ontario Provincial Police, provincial corrections, and emergency clinics. Her last project involved the evaluation of the implementation of an evidence-based, integrated 3-month treatment for people with substance abuse and concurrent psychiatric diagnoses.
She was a member of the former research team that received several awards, including the Outstanding Achievement by Ontario Public Servants. She is forever grateful for the immeasurable knowledge gained from having worked for many years with her fellow authors and friends.