Assessing Risk to Reoffend and Propensity for Violence

Research indicates that individuals with mental illness exhibit more of the eight dynamic risk factors that research has shown—consistently—are predictive of criminal recidivism. These factors are significantly more predictive than mental illness itself.

Major Risk/Need Factors Associated with Committing Future Crimes

  1. Presence of Antisocial Behavior
  2. Antisocial Personality Pattern
  3. Antisocial Cognition
  4. Antisocial Associates
  5. Family and/or Marital
  6. School and/or Work
  7. Leisure and/or Recreation
  8. Substance Abuse

Source: Bonta and Andrews, 2007

This suggests that, even for those individuals with mental disorders, the empirically validated criminogenic risk and needs assessment tools currently in use are vitally important aids to decisionmaking.  Some of the more often-used assessments of risk and criminogenic need include the LSI, the ORAS, and the COMPAS.

Also of significant concern is the offender's propensity for violence, and the use of structured assessments such as the Violence Risk Appraisal Guide; the Historical, Clinical, Risk Management-20 (HCR-20), and the Short-Term Assessment of Risk and Treatability (START) are recommended as ways to understand offenders' likelihood of violence.

< Understanding Risk,
Needs, and Responsivity

The Effectiveness
of Mental Health Treatment