Forensic Assessment of Violence Risk: A Guide forRisk Assessment and Risk Management
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More About This Title Forensic Assessment of Violence Risk: A Guide forRisk Assessment and Risk Management


Forensic Assessment of Violence Risk: A Guide for Risk Assessment and Risk Management provides both a summary of research to date and an integrated model for mental health professionals conducting risk assessments, one of the most high-stakes evaluations forensic mental health professionals perform.


Mary Alice Conroy, PhD, ABPP, directs the Psychological Services Center at Sam Houston State University. She is the President of the American Academy of Forensic Psychology. During a twenty-year career with the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, she conducted over 1,200 risk assessments, including risk management planning. She conducts numerous national and training workshops on forensic assessment for lawyers, judges, correctional personnel, and mental health professionals.

Daniel C. Murrie, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Sam Houston State University. He has authored numerous studies related to forensic psychological assessment and maintains a private practice of forensic psychological evaluation, specializing in risk assessment.


Preface vii

Acknowledgments xi

1 Historical Overview of Risk Assessment 1

2 Introducing a Broad Model for Risk Assessment 16

3 Risk of What? Defining the Referral Question 34

4 What Do We Know Overall? Consider Normative Data and Population Base Rates 45

5 What Do We Know about Individuals Like This One? Empirically Supported Risk and Protective Factors 67

6 What Do We Know about This Individual? Idiographic Factors and the Need for Individualized Assessment 83

7 What Can We Say about the Results of a Risk Assessment? Risk Communication 99

8 From Risk Assessment to Risk Management 135

9 Risk Assessment of Patients with Serious Mental Illness 153

10 Risk Assessment with Sexual Offenders 179

11 Risk Assessment with Juvenile Offenders 202

12 Risk Assessment of Death Penalty Defendants 235

Epilogue 255

Appendix A Risk Assessment Instruments 259

Appendix B Sample Risk Assessment Reports 269

References 309

Index 353


"Conroy and Murie have written a unique book. Readers will appreciate the useful appendixes, which include risk-assessment instruments and sample reports. This is a wonderful resource for those interested in assessing dangerousness in others. Highly recommended." (Choice, 4/08)

"This is a very nice book, primarily aimed at psychology trainees and other professionals who are preparing for forensic careers. One of the things I like about this book is its primary focus on understanding, managing and communicating about violence risk rather than prediction of individual behavior. This is one of those "must have" books for forensic mental health professionals." (Journal of Psychiatric Practice, January 2008)

Conroy and Murrie successfully capture the advances in risk assessment and forensic assessment seen particularly in the last decade. From task definition to risk communication, prediction to management, adolescents to adults, and civil to criminal contexts, they provide a range of useful information, examples, and conclusions. Forensic Assessment of Violence Risk is valuable for anyone involved in policy-making, litigation, assessment, or interventions related to the risk of violent behavior.
—Kirk Heilbrun, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, Drexel University

This guide is indispensable for all forensic mental health professionals who assess violence risk for juveniles, psychiatric patients, sex offenders, and in the context of death penalty cases. The model Conroy and Murrie propose represents the integration of what is currently empirically established in terms of base rates for violence with the need to consider idiographic factors for the individual being evaluated.
—Alan M. Goldstein, Ph.D., ABPP, Board Certified in Forensic Psychology, Professor Emeritus, John Jay College of Criminal Justice - CUNY

Forensic Assessment of Violence Risk is both an accessible overview for the professional just beginning to conduct risk assessments and a stimulating update for the seasoned forensic risk assessment practitioner. It strikes a good balance between discussion of recent research and practical guidelines for practice.
—Mark D. Cunningham, Ph.D., ABPP, Dallas, TX