Register Online - Add to Cart
Product ID: 391667EAU
Credit & Course Provided by:

Assessing a Client's Risk for Violence

OnDemand Webinar (89 minutes)

Institutions such as hospitals, law enforcement agencies, correctional facilities, and courts are frequently faced with the question of whether and under what circumstances an individual should be released to the community when the person has some history of violence toward others. There is often a dilemma of balancing risk to the public with respecting the civil rights of an individual and allowing them the least restrictive environment. There is also concern about liability should an individual commit additional acts of violence once released. This on-demand webinar will help you understand how, with science and professional methodology, formal risk assessment can significantly reduce the risk of violent outcomes and liability for those making release recommendations. It will also provide agencies and legal professionals guidance in choosing an expert in this area. Examples will be used that highlight common myths in regard to violence risk. In addition, you will receive a set of references for the major areas of risk assessment and a list of tools available for use.

Learning Objectives:

  • You will be able to describe what risk assessment is.
  • You will be able to discuss how risk assessment involves exploring specific data and knowing its limitations.
  • You will be able to review how collateral information is essential to any reliable risk assessment.


Mary Alice Conroy, Ph.D., ABPP, Sam Houston State University


What Is Risk Assessment?

  • Risk Assessment Is a Science With a Broad and Current Research Base
  • Risk Assessments Are Increasingly Needed by Courts and Mental Health Professionals (e.g., to Assess the Need for Civil Commitment, to Make Decisions Regarding Discharge From Hospitalization or Other Confinement, to Determine Conditions of Discharge, in Considering Probation or Diversion)
  • How Would an Institution or a Court Vet a Professional for Risk Assessment Expertise?

Risk Assessment Involves Exploring Specific Data and Knowing Its Limitations

  • An Evaluator Needs to Be Familiar With Both Static (Those That Are Fixed and Historical) and Dynamic (Those That Can Change With Time or Intervention) Factors
  • An Evaluator Needs to Review Protective Factors
  • An Evaluator Must Be Aware of the Science Available Relative to the Particular Population or Situation a Case May Present (e.g., Persons With Serious Mental Illness, Sexual Offenders, Violent Offenders, Juveniles, Persons With a History of Domestic Abuse, Persons Facing Long Term Prison Confinement)
  • An Evaluator Needs to Be Familiar With Specialty Instruments That Can Be Used for Various Risk Assessment Purposes

Risk Assessment Involves Not Only Knowing the Established Science, but Applying It to a Specific Individual

  • Collateral Information Is Essential to Any Reliable Risk Assessment
  • An Evaluator Needs to Explore Factors Unique to an Individual (Often Not Identified in the Group Data) That Would Increase or Decrease Level of Risk
  • An Anamnestic Approach Is Often Useful