Actuarial versus clinical assessments of dangerousness

Authors
Citation
Tr. Litwack, Actuarial versus clinical assessments of dangerousness, PSYCH PUB L, 7(2), 2001, pp. 409-443
Citations number
97
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Psycology
Journal title
PSYCHOLOGY PUBLIC POLICY AND LAW
ISSN journal
1076-8971 → ACNP
Volume
7
Issue
2
Year of publication
2001
Pages
409 - 443
Database
ISI
SICI code
1076-8971(200106)7:2<409:AVCAOD>2.0.ZU;2-8
Abstract
In their book, Violent Offenders, V. L. Quinsey, G. T. Harris, M. E. Rice, and C. A. Cormier (1999) proposed the "complete replacement" of clinical as sessments of dangerousness with actuarial methods, such as the Violence Ris k Appraisal Guide (VRAG). In this article, the author argues that (a) resea rch to date has not demonstrated that actuarial methods of risk assessment are superior to clinical methods; (b) because most clinical determinations of dangerousness are not "predictions" of violence, as well as for other re asons, it is very difficult to meaningfully compare clinical and actuarial assessments of dangerousness; and (c) even the best researched and validate d actuarial tool for assessing dangerousness to date, the VRAG, has not vet been validated in a manner that would make it appropriate for use in deter mining when individuals should be confined on the grounds of their dangerou sness. Therefore, although clinicians who engage in risk assessments certai nly should be knowledgeable about arguably relevant actuarial assessment sc hemes and other assessment guides the HCR-20), it is premature, at best, to replace clinical risk assessments with actuarial assessments.