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Measurement of risk by a community forensic mental health team

  • John Dowsett (a1)
Abstract
Aims and Method

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.

Results

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.

Clinical Implications

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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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
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Belfrage, H. (1998) Implementing the HCR-20 scheme for risk assessment. Journal of Forensic Psychiatry, 9, 328338.
Douglas, K. (1999) HCR–20 Violence Risk Assessment Scheme: Overview and Annotated Bibliography. http://www.sfu.ca/psychology/groups/faculty/hart/violink.htm.
Hare, R. D. (1991) Manual for the Hare Psychotherapy Checklist – Revised. Toronto: Multi Health Systems.
Hollin, C. R. (1999) Treatment programmes for offenders: meta analysis ‘What works’ and beyond. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 22, 361372.
Monahan, J., Steadman, H. J., Silver, E., et al (2001) Rethinking Risk Assessment: The MacArthur Study of Mental Disorder and Violence. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Snowden, P., Mckenna, J. & Jasper, A. (1999) Management of conditionally discharged patients and others who present similar risks in the community: integrated or parallel? Journal of Forensic Psychiatry, 10, 583596.
Webster, C., Eaves, D., Douglas, K., et al (1995) The HCR–20 Scheme. The Assessment of Dangerousness and Risk (version 1). Burnaby, BC: Simon Fraser University Forensic Psychiatric Services of British Columbia.
Webster, C., Douglas, K., Eaves, D., et al (1997) HCR–20. Assessing the Risk of Violence (version 2). Burnaby, BC: Simon Fraser University Forensic Psychiatric Services of British Columbia.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Measurement of risk by a community forensic mental health team

  • John Dowsett (a1)
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