The use of risk and need factors in forensic mental health decision-making and the role of gender and index offense severity.

TitleThe use of risk and need factors in forensic mental health decision-making and the role of gender and index offense severity.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsWilson CM, Crocker AG, Nicholls TL, Charette Y, Seto MC
JournalBehav Sci Law
Volume33
Issue1
Pagination19-38
Date Published2015 Feb
ISSN1099-0798
KeywordsAdult, Canada, Crime, Decision Making, Female, Forensic Psychiatry, Humans, Male, Mental Competency, Mental Disorders, Risk Assessment, Risk Factors, Sex Factors, Violence
Abstract

Canadian legislation makes Review Boards (RBs) responsible for rendering dispositions for individuals found Not Criminally Responsible on account of Mental Disorder (NCRMD) after considering public safety, the mental condition of the accused, and his/her potential for community reintegration. We reviewed 6,743 RB hearings for 1,794 individuals found NCRMD in the three largest Canadian provinces to investigate whether items from two empirically supported risk assessment measures, the Historical Clinical Risk Management-20 and the Violence Risk Appraisal Guide, were considered. Less than half the items were included in expert reports or in RBs' reasons for dispositions, and consideration of these items differed according to gender and index offense severity of the accused. These items included evidence-based risk factors and/or legally specified criteria: mental health, treatment, and criminal history. These results illustrate the gap between research on risk factors and the integration of this evidence into practice. In particular, we recommend the implementation of structured measures to reduce the potential for clinicians to be unduly influenced by gender and offense severity.

DOI10.1002/bsl.2162
Alternate JournalBehav Sci Law
PubMed ID25693951
Grant List / / Canadian Institutes of Health Research / Canada

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