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Can Standardized Measures of Risk Predict Inpatient Violence? Combining Static and Dynamic Variables to Improve Accuracy

Vitacco, M.J., Gonsalves, G., Tomony, J.,Smith, B.E.R. & Lishner, D.A.

Criminal Justice and Behavior May 2012 vol. 39 no. 5 589-606.



Predicting which forensic inpatients are likely to be violent is necessary if forensic hospitals are to implement effective risk management techniques. When conducting risk assessments, clinicians have at their disposal standardized risk assessment instruments that have demonstrated ability to predict violence. The present study examined the utility of static and dynamic measures used in risk assessment to predict aggressive behavior in a sample of 103 inpatients committed to a forensic hospital after being found not guilty by reason of insanity. Results indicated that both static and dynamic measures, including psychopathy, predicted inpatient aggression; however, neither type of measure provided incremental predictive validity above and beyond the other. Implications for predicting violence with forensic inpatients is discussed with the ultimate goal of implementing effective treatment interventions aimed at reducing violence.



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