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The Violence Reduction Programme: a treatment programme for violence-prone forensic clients

Stephen C.P. Wong & Audrey Gordon
Psychology, Crime & Law; Volume 19, Issue 5-6, 2013, 461-475.


The Violence Reduction Programme (VRP) is a treatment programme designed to reduce the risk of violence for individuals with antisocial and/or violent histories. The VRP was developed based on integrating the risk, need and responsivity (RNR) principles with contemporary clinical and offender rehabilitation techniques such as using cognitive-behavioural, relapse prevention and motivational interviewing approaches. Further the integration of risk assessment and treatment was achieved within the VRP by using the Violence Risk Scale, also developed based on RNR principles, to assess violence risk, criminogenic needs treatment responsivity and treatment changes. Unlike highly scripted programmes, treatment progress in the VRP is assessed based on achieving specific treatment goals rather than completing a specific number of sessions. As such, the VRP is sufficiently flexible to accommodate participants with quite diverse needs. Results of programme evaluations with long-term follow-up and the inclusion of control groups indicates that programme participation was linked to the reduction of general and violent reoffending. The programme also appears to be effective in treating offenders with significant psychopathic traits.



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