There is a newer version of this out-of-print book.
Two decades ago there was only one main text on the topic of assessing violence risk which most readers would consider inviting. Since then some two dozen books have appeared on the subject. Most of these, though advancing the field importantly, have been written for specialists. They contain large amounts of statistical and technical information.
Only a few books have tried to offer the kind of general overview sought by those who, though not steeped in the clinical or research worlds, must nonetheless make crucial decisions about the lives of people being considered for release into the community following detention or supervision in the civil mental health system, the forensic mental health system, and the criminal justice system. Release Decision-Making is intended for use by board members, parole officers, mental health professionals, judges, administrators, and policy makers. Following a brief overview of some of the main mental and personality disorders which associate with aggressivity and violence, the book tries to capture what is known about the assessment process. The aim is to provide a background for the reader's participation in decision-making exercises, be they informal day-to-day ones or legally-required ones. Although no claim is made that this book or any other will enable decision-makers to achieve the kinds of comprehensiveness, fairness, and accuracy which they might wish, it is nonetheless hoped that its contents will help, if only in very rare instances, to protect the public on one hand while not unduly or unfairly penalizing patients, accused persons, and prisoners on the other.
Table of Contents
A Point of View
(A) The English Prison Service Study
(B) The Metropolitan Toronto Forensic Service (METFORS) Study
(C) The Oak Ridge, Penetanguishene Mental Health Centre Study
(D) The MacArthur Study
13 Sex Offenders (R. Karl Hanson, Department of the Solicitor General of Canada)
14 Spousal Assaulters (J. Randall Kropp, British Columbia Forensisc Psychiatric Services Commission)
17 Conclusions and Directions (Ivan Cacic, Health Sciences Program, McMaster University)