Psychologists and forensic psychology professionals who work in correctional settings often are called upon to assess inmates for their risk of potential harm to others. In many cases, this can be at the heart of evaluations conducted by parole boards, whose job it is to decide if a particular inmate should be released into society. Research on conducting risk assessments and predicting violence potential has shed light on the science and art of such assessments. Empirical data has shown that certain static and fluid risk factors are related to violent acts. Research studies also have concluded that certain instruments can increase the ability of assessors to accurately predict someone’s future behavior.
To prepare for this assignment:
- Review the article, “Historical and Personality Correlates to the Violence Patterns of Juveniles Tried as Adults.” Pay particular attention to the assessmentinstruments/procedures and how they are used to determine violence and associated risk factors.
- Think about how the results reported in this article might be applied in a correctional setting.
- Review the article, “Felony and Violent Recidivism Among Supermax Prison Inmates in Washington State: A Pilot Study.” Pay close attention to the important data and results, and any other key “takeaways” of the study, and consider how the study might be used in a correctional setting.
- Review this week’s DVD program, “Application of Psychological Research – Correctional Settings.” Focus on what makes effective and ineffective criterion measures for analyzing recidivism, violent crime, and institutional adjustment.
- Using the Walden Library, select a research article related to the assessment of violence potential.
- Review the article you selected. Note how the study was conducted, the important data and results, and any other key “ takeaways” of the study.
- Consider how the results of your chosen study might be used to predict the violence potential of someone in a correctional institution or who has been released on parole.
The assignment (1–2 pages):
- Briefly summarize the research article you selected.
- Explain how the potential for violence was assessed and the important data, results, and “key takeaways” from the study.
- Explain how a forensic psychology professional might use the results from this study in a correctional setting.