The aim of this study was to evaluate the predictive validity of the HCR–20 risk assessment instrument for the case-load of an inner-city community forensic team. File review and an interview with the keyworker for each patient were used to compile the information, and the author completed the HCR–20 for all patients. Cases were followed up for an average of 2.5 years to collect information on recidivism.
The risk profile for this sample was comparable to published North American studies. Patients who were subsequently charged with or convicted of violent offences all scored highly on the HCR–20.
The HCR–20 appears to be a useful instrument for stratifying risk within community forensic samples; this finding has implications for intensity of treatment and supervision. However, the data also suggest that services need to target criminogenic variables more effectively.
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