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A European Perspective on Risk Assessment Tools

  • Michiel de Vries Robbé
  • Vivienne de Vogel
Chapter

Abstract

Assessing the level of violence risk is a vital task for mental health professionals working with offenders and (forensic) psychiatric patients. Many tools are available to aid the assessment process, each with a specific focus and purpose. Especially the structured professional judgement risk assessment tools are considered useful in guiding clinical practice and decision-making. In addition to assessing static and dynamic risk factors, the assessment would benefit from also incorporating the evaluation of strengths. These protective factors offer further insight into current functioning and the likelihood of violent behaviour. Moreover, they provide promising treatment targets. A well-balanced assessment including historical and changeable risk factors as well as protective factors should result in an insightful overview of the most important factors relevant for the violence risk potential of a specific individual in his or her assessed context. This assessment leads to a better understanding of future violence risk, conclusions regarding the level of risk and security needed and recommendations for intervention and risk management. Final conclusions drawn from the assessment should be made according to risk scenario narratives regarding the specific type of violent behaviour that seems most likely and that needs to be prevented for the individual case through tailored intervention. A case example is provided to demonstrate the use of a combined risk- and strength-based assessment in clinical practice. The chapter concludes with general recommendations regarding the organization of the risk assessment process and the incorporation of risk assessment and risk management in daily forensic care.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Child- and Adolescent PsychiatryVU University Medical CenterAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of ResearchVan der Hoeven KliniekUtrechtThe Netherlands

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