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Prediction of violence using the HCR-20: a prospective study in two maximum-security correctional institutions
Forensic Psychiatric Centre, Research Unit, Växjö, Sweden; Växjö University, Växjö, Sweden.
Sundsvall Forensic Psychiatric Hospital, Sundsvall, Sweden.
Forensic Psychiatric Centre, Research Unit, Växjö, Sweden. (Center for Criminological and Psychosocial Research)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8285-0935
2000 (English)In: Journal of forensic psychiatry (Print), ISSN 0958-5184, E-ISSN 1469-9478, Vol. 11, no 1, 167-175 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The HCR-20 and the PCL:SV were used in a prospective study of 41 long-term sentenced offenders in two correctional, maximum-security institutions. The aim was to test the validity of these instruments in the prediction of institutional violence. All assessments were made by a comprehensive examination of the offenders' files, completed with clinical interviews ranging from 1 to 3 hours. The mean follow-up time was 8 months. Our results show high predictive validity for the HCR-20's clinical and risk management items, but for almost none of its historical items. The results suggest that violence inside correctional institutions can be predicted with a certain degree of validity by using the HCR-20 and the PCL:SV, even within a selective 'high-risk' group of offenders such as that under study here.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2000. Vol. 11, no 1, 167-175 p.
Keyword [en]
risk prediction; institutional violence; HCR-20; PCL : SV
National Category
Psychology Psychiatry
Research subject
Psychiatry; Criminology
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-54045DOI: 10.1080/095851800362445ISI: 000086720600014ScopusID: 2-s2.0-0034081508OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-54045DiVA: diva2:1057704
Available from: 2016-12-19 Created: 2016-12-19 Last updated: 2017-01-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Violence risk assessment in male and female mentally disordered offenders: differences and similarities
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Violence risk assessment in male and female mentally disordered offenders: differences and similarities
2006 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

When assessing the risk of violence, increasing interest has been shown in bringing science and practice closer together. Moving from clinical intuition in the first generation of risk assessment via actuarial scales in the second generation to the structured professional judgments where risk assessments are today produces better, more valid results when assessing the risk of violence. One of the best predictors of violence is gender. Approximately 10% of the violent criminality can be attributed to women; even so, it is increasing, especially among young women. It is therefore important to examine risk assessments from a gender perspective. Another important factor when assessing the risk of violence is psychopathy and there are indications that there might be gender differences in this diagnosis. Thus, a special interest has been focused on psychopathy in this thesis. The purpose with this work is to explore the similarities and differences in assessing risk for violence in male and female mentally disordered offenders, while the overall aim is to validate the violence risk assessment instrument HCR-20 for Swedish offender populations. The risk assessments for all six studies in this thesis were made by trained personnel using the HCR-20 instrument, where psychopathy was diagnosed with the screening version of the Psychopathy Checklist (PCL:SV). The study populations were both male and female mentally disordered offenders in either the correctional or the forensic setting.

The findings show that both the validity and the reliability of the HCR-20 and the PCL:SV were good and the clinical and risk management subscales were found to have better predictive validity than the historical scale. Another finding was that there were more similarities than differences between genders in the HCR-20, while the opposite applied to the PCL:SV, where the antisocial behavior was performed in a different manner. Moreover, it was found that the gender of the assessor might be a factor to take into account when assessing the risk of violence in women, where the recommendation was that at least one assessor should be female. The conclusions were that the HCR-20 and the PCL:SV can be used In Swedish offender populations with valid results. For female offenders, there are differences in the antisocial behavior that is assessed in order to diagnose psychopathy and these differences tend to underestimate psychopathy among female offenders. Furthermore, the gender of the assessor might be of greater importance than has previously been realized. The overall conclusion was that this thesis supports the structural professional judgment method of making risk assessments in order to prevent violence in the community.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sundsvall: Mid Sweden University, 2006. 76 p.
Mid Sweden University Doctoral Thesis, ISSN 1652-893X ; 9
Risk assessment, HCR-20, psychopathy, PCL:SV, female offenders, mentally disordered offenders, antisocial behavior, violent recidivism
National Category
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-54118 (URN)91-85317-21-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2006-12-04, Campus Sundsvall, Sundsvall, 10:00 (English)
Available from: 2016-12-20 Created: 2016-12-20 Last updated: 2016-12-20Bibliographically approved

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Strand, Susanne
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