Violent Offenders: Appraising and Managing Risk

Pages: 356
Item #: 431604A
ISBN: 978-1-55798-495-1
List Price: $39.95
Member/Affiliate Price: $34.95
Copyright: 1998
Format: Hardcover
Note: This book is out of print and no longer available for purchase.

Violent Offenders: Appraising and Managing Risk reports on a program of research that began 25 years ago at a maximum-security psychiatric hospital. This institution, the Oak Ridge Division of the Mental Health Care Centre in Penetanguishene, Ontario, Canada is probably the most thoroughly studied maximum-security psychiatric facility in the world. The authors believe that the results of this program of research present a unique opportunity to draw some conclusions about the prediction of violent behavior and the management of violent offenders that apply in a wide variety of contexts.

The primary focus of the book is on criminal violence of both mentally disordered offenders and criminal inmates, whose histories of criminal violence raise serious societal concerns about the commission of further acts of violence. It is difficult for legal experts, psychologists, and policy makers to make decisions that strike the proper balance between an offender's civil liberties and community safety. Such a balance requires an accurate assessment of the likelihood that an individual offender will commit a new violent or sexual offense.

On the basis of their research on mentally disordered offenders, sex offenders, fire setters, and psychopathic offenders, the authors have developed an actuarial assessment instrument, the Violence Risk Appraisal Guide, which is currently the most accurate risk appraisal instrument available. The authors argue that risk management can be improved by combining what is already known about predicting violence, clinical decision making, and program evaluation. They conclude that the results of their applied research have implications for our understanding of the etiology of violent criminal behavior.

Table of Contents



I. Historical and Methodological Context

  1. Historical Perspective
  2. Previous Research on Prediction
  3. Methods and Measurement
  4. Clinical Judgment

II. A New Generation of Follow-Up Studies

  1. Mentally Disordered Offenders
  2. Fire Setters
  3. Sex Offenders

III. Development of Violence Prediction Instruments

  1. Actuarial Prediction of Violence
  2. Fifteen Arguments Against Actuarial Risk Appraisal

IV. Altering the Risk of Violence

  1. Treatment and Management
  2. Conclusion



  1. Violence Risk Appraisal Guide (VRAG)
  2. Sex Offender Risk Appraisal Guide (SORAG)
  3. Normative Data on the Distribution of VRAG and SORAG Scores
  4. Technical Questions About the Application of the VRAG and SORAG
  5. Cormier–Lang System for Quantifying Criminal History
  6. Manual for the Compilation of a Psychosocial History Suitable for Risk Appraisal
  7. Detailed Example Psychosocial History Suitable for Scoring the VRAG and SORAG
  8. Detailed Example of Scoring the VRAG From the Psychosocial History in Appendix G
  9. Detailed Example of Scoring the SORAG From the Psychosocial History in Appendix G
  10. Example of a Violence Risk Appraisal Report
  11. Problem Identification Checklist (File Version)
  12. Dynamic Antisociality
  13. Cross-Sectional Oak Ridge Statistics Over 35 Years


Author Index

Subject Index

About the Authors