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Violence Prediction: Guidelines for the Forensic Practitioner

NCJ Number
H V Hall
Date Published
217 pages
This book presents a sequential, decisionmaking process for forensic professionals to use in developing reasonable, testable, and circumscribed predictions of predatory violent behavior.
The book opens with a sequential series of steps in the form of a decision 'tree' that can be applied post-hoc to forensic evaluations of dangerousness. This is followed by a discussion of forensic distortion analysis, a set of procedures relevant to the reporting of deliberate and nondeliberate client misrepresentation related to violent or other maladaptive behavior. Related topics discussed include legal theory/statutes, nondeliberate stress factors, developmental studies of memory recall, use of psychological validity scales, nonverbal 'leakage' behaviors, and semantic analysis to determine believability. Following a critique of key assumptions underlying the conclusion that dangerousness predictions are inaccurate, relevant literature is reviewed as the basis for suggestions of new directions for dangerousness prediction. Common errors by forensic mental health professionals in predicting dangerousness are considered, followed by a chapter on the nature and effectiveness of training in prediction decisionmaking procedures. Working appendixes contain actual prediction cases, a violence factor checklist, a prediction report format, questions for participants, program evaluation format, and a needs assessment inventory. 210 references and subject and author indexes.


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