Assessing and Managing Multiple Risks in Violence Risk Assessment
PRESENTER: Brianne K. Layden, Ph.D.
DATE: June 13, 2022
TIME: 9am - 5pm
CONTINUING EDUCATION CREDITS: 7 credits
COST: $250 CAD (includes 2 catered coffee breaks; lunch NOT included)
The assessment and management of multiple, or intersecting, risks (e.g., risk of stalking and physical violence, risk of harm to self and others) is nearly as commonplace as assessing and managing risk for a single outcome (e.g., general violence or self-directed violence) in forensic practice. For example, professionals working with perpetrators of intimate partner violence often grapple with the possibility of both self- and other-directed violence (e.g., up to 40% of perpetrators of intimate partner homicide commit suicide; Lund & Smorodinsky, 2001), as do threat assessment specialists working with law enforcement (e.g., “suicide-by-cop” scenarios comprise around 36% of officer-involved shootings; Mohandie, Meloy, & Collins, 2009). Nevertheless, there is very little guidance in academic or professional writing on how best to engage in the assessment of multiple risks, or how best to communicate our findings and opinions regarding multiple risks to stakeholders and decision makers.
Fortunately, some risk assessment approaches allow for, and explicitly encourage, the consideration of other risk factors and the possibility of multiple risks in the assessment process (e.g., structured professional judgment); however, foundational training programs and workshops on risk assessment tools tend to focus on risk for a single outcome with little discussion of best practices for combining tools (or the appropriateness of combining tools). As such, this workshop will 1) define multiple and intersecting (associated) risks, 2) discuss the state of the field on combining risk assessment tools, 3) utilize the SPJ approach to present case examples illustrating the assessment of multiple risks, and 4) discuss options for communicating findings and opinions regarding multiple risks consistent with virtues of communication (e.g., that communication is accurate, complete, clear, brief, reasoned, and reasonable).
The morning of the workshop will include a review of conceptual and definitional issues regarding multiple and intersecting risks. Throughout the morning participants will become familiar with examples of multiple risks and the challenges these cases pose for the selection of appropriate risk assessment tools. The first half of the afternoon will review the SPJ approach to illustrate options for assessing multiple risks from the identification of risk factors through to the development of recommendations for risk management. The remainder of the workshop will involve the presentation and discussion of sample reports to illustrate promising practices for communicating about multiple risks that are consistent with virtues of communication.
Define multiple and intersecting risks
Discuss the challenges of assessing multiple risks in violence risk assessment and options for combining risk assessment tools
Utilize the Structured Professional Judgement (SPJ) approach to identify risk factors, engage in formulation (case conceptualization), scenario planning, and development of management plans for cases involving multiple risks
Review case examples to illustrate promising practices for risk communication (e.g., report writing)