Violent Offenders: Appraising and Managing Risk, Second Edition
Predicting future violence among criminal offenders is notoriously difficult. In the first edition of their popular book Violent Offenders: Appraising and Managing Risk, Vernon L. Quinsey, Grant T. Harris, Marnie E. Rice, and Catherine A. Cormier argued that community risk management can be improved by using actuarial assessment and by combining what is known about the prediction of violence, the study of clinical decision making, and the literature on treatment outcome and program evaluation. In that best-selling book, they reported on their long-term research at the Oak Ridge Division of the Penetanguishene Mental Health Care Centre, in Ontario, Canada—probably the most thoroughly studied maximum security psychiatric facility in the world—and chronicled the development of their assessment instrument the Violence Risk Appraisal Guide.
Since that first edition appeared, the field of violence risk assessment has exploded. The literature base is much larger and richer, as is the relevant commentary. In this new edition, the authors update their review, focusing on the actuarial instruments they developed and described earlier and on the measures they have continued to develop. In their lively style, they review the commentary on risk appraisal, addressing 20 of the most common arguments against actuarial risk appraisal. They clarify how to score items of the Violence Risk Appraisal Guide (VRAG) and Sex Offender Risk Appraisal Guide (SORAG) based on extensive inquiries from professionals who use these instruments in the field. Lastly, they provide a more detailed description of the development of the SORAG.
A must-read for all legal and psychological professionals and policy makers who participate in decisions on whether, when, and under what circumstances violent offenders should be released, or how they should be managed.