An update and expansion on the role of the Violence Risk Appraisal Guide and Historical Clinical Risk Management-20 in United States case law

Jennifer Cox, Jaymes Fairfax-Columbo, David DeMatteo, Michael J Vitacco, Megan R. Kopkin, Caroline Titcomb Parrott, Elizabeth Bownes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

An individual's risk for future violent behavior may be considered in various legal contexts, including civil commitment, criminal sentencing, or suitability for parole. Among the assessment tools forensic evaluators use to assess violence risk are the Violence Risk Appraisal Guide (VRAG; Quinsey, Harris, Rice, & Cormier,) and the Historical Clinical Risk Managment-20 (HCR-20)/Historical Clinical Risk Management-20, Version 3 (HCR-20 V3 ) (Webster, Douglas, Eaves, & Hart, and Douglas, Hart, Webster, & Belfrage, respectively). Previous surveys and case law research suggest that these measures are widely used and perceived to be useful in aiding forensic clinicians. This study provides an update to Vitacco, Erickson, Kurus, and Apple () and examines the use of the HCR-20 and VRAG in United States case law. A LexisNexis review revealed 134 cases decided between 1 January 2010 and 21 December 2016 that included the HCR-20, VRAG, or both. Results revealed that these measures are typically introduced by the prosecution to inform opinions regarding general violence risk. In addition, consistent with previous research, these data suggest the introduction of the HCR-20 and VRAG is rarely challenged and, when challenged, these challenges are rarely successful. However, data suggest that courts and parole boards may focus on specific risk factors (e.g., lack of insight) at the expense of other, more objective factors. Finally, we offer suggestions for clinicians who have transitioned to the newest version of the HCR-20.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)517-531
Number of pages15
JournalBehavioral Sciences and the Law
Volume36
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018

Fingerprint

Risk Management
state law
case law
Violence
risk management
violence
Malus
Research
prosecution
commitment
lack

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Law

Cite this

An update and expansion on the role of the Violence Risk Appraisal Guide and Historical Clinical Risk Management-20 in United States case law. / Cox, Jennifer; Fairfax-Columbo, Jaymes; DeMatteo, David; Vitacco, Michael J; Kopkin, Megan R.; Parrott, Caroline Titcomb; Bownes, Elizabeth.

In: Behavioral Sciences and the Law, Vol. 36, No. 5, 01.09.2018, p. 517-531.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Cox, Jennifer ; Fairfax-Columbo, Jaymes ; DeMatteo, David ; Vitacco, Michael J ; Kopkin, Megan R. ; Parrott, Caroline Titcomb ; Bownes, Elizabeth. / An update and expansion on the role of the Violence Risk Appraisal Guide and Historical Clinical Risk Management-20 in United States case law. In: Behavioral Sciences and the Law. 2018 ; Vol. 36, No. 5. pp. 517-531.
@article{28bef5c663b34729ad41fd48e992fc64,
title = "An update and expansion on the role of the Violence Risk Appraisal Guide and Historical Clinical Risk Management-20 in United States case law",
abstract = "An individual's risk for future violent behavior may be considered in various legal contexts, including civil commitment, criminal sentencing, or suitability for parole. Among the assessment tools forensic evaluators use to assess violence risk are the Violence Risk Appraisal Guide (VRAG; Quinsey, Harris, Rice, & Cormier,) and the Historical Clinical Risk Managment-20 (HCR-20)/Historical Clinical Risk Management-20, Version 3 (HCR-20 V3 ) (Webster, Douglas, Eaves, & Hart, and Douglas, Hart, Webster, & Belfrage, respectively). Previous surveys and case law research suggest that these measures are widely used and perceived to be useful in aiding forensic clinicians. This study provides an update to Vitacco, Erickson, Kurus, and Apple () and examines the use of the HCR-20 and VRAG in United States case law. A LexisNexis review revealed 134 cases decided between 1 January 2010 and 21 December 2016 that included the HCR-20, VRAG, or both. Results revealed that these measures are typically introduced by the prosecution to inform opinions regarding general violence risk. In addition, consistent with previous research, these data suggest the introduction of the HCR-20 and VRAG is rarely challenged and, when challenged, these challenges are rarely successful. However, data suggest that courts and parole boards may focus on specific risk factors (e.g., lack of insight) at the expense of other, more objective factors. Finally, we offer suggestions for clinicians who have transitioned to the newest version of the HCR-20.",
author = "Jennifer Cox and Jaymes Fairfax-Columbo and David DeMatteo and Vitacco, {Michael J} and Kopkin, {Megan R.} and Parrott, {Caroline Titcomb} and Elizabeth Bownes",
year = "2018",
month = "9",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1002/bsl.2376",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "36",
pages = "517--531",
journal = "Behavioral Sciences and the Law",
issn = "0735-3936",
publisher = "John Wiley and Sons Ltd",
number = "5",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - An update and expansion on the role of the Violence Risk Appraisal Guide and Historical Clinical Risk Management-20 in United States case law

AU - Cox, Jennifer

AU - Fairfax-Columbo, Jaymes

AU - DeMatteo, David

AU - Vitacco, Michael J

AU - Kopkin, Megan R.

AU - Parrott, Caroline Titcomb

AU - Bownes, Elizabeth

PY - 2018/9/1

Y1 - 2018/9/1

N2 - An individual's risk for future violent behavior may be considered in various legal contexts, including civil commitment, criminal sentencing, or suitability for parole. Among the assessment tools forensic evaluators use to assess violence risk are the Violence Risk Appraisal Guide (VRAG; Quinsey, Harris, Rice, & Cormier,) and the Historical Clinical Risk Managment-20 (HCR-20)/Historical Clinical Risk Management-20, Version 3 (HCR-20 V3 ) (Webster, Douglas, Eaves, & Hart, and Douglas, Hart, Webster, & Belfrage, respectively). Previous surveys and case law research suggest that these measures are widely used and perceived to be useful in aiding forensic clinicians. This study provides an update to Vitacco, Erickson, Kurus, and Apple () and examines the use of the HCR-20 and VRAG in United States case law. A LexisNexis review revealed 134 cases decided between 1 January 2010 and 21 December 2016 that included the HCR-20, VRAG, or both. Results revealed that these measures are typically introduced by the prosecution to inform opinions regarding general violence risk. In addition, consistent with previous research, these data suggest the introduction of the HCR-20 and VRAG is rarely challenged and, when challenged, these challenges are rarely successful. However, data suggest that courts and parole boards may focus on specific risk factors (e.g., lack of insight) at the expense of other, more objective factors. Finally, we offer suggestions for clinicians who have transitioned to the newest version of the HCR-20.

AB - An individual's risk for future violent behavior may be considered in various legal contexts, including civil commitment, criminal sentencing, or suitability for parole. Among the assessment tools forensic evaluators use to assess violence risk are the Violence Risk Appraisal Guide (VRAG; Quinsey, Harris, Rice, & Cormier,) and the Historical Clinical Risk Managment-20 (HCR-20)/Historical Clinical Risk Management-20, Version 3 (HCR-20 V3 ) (Webster, Douglas, Eaves, & Hart, and Douglas, Hart, Webster, & Belfrage, respectively). Previous surveys and case law research suggest that these measures are widely used and perceived to be useful in aiding forensic clinicians. This study provides an update to Vitacco, Erickson, Kurus, and Apple () and examines the use of the HCR-20 and VRAG in United States case law. A LexisNexis review revealed 134 cases decided between 1 January 2010 and 21 December 2016 that included the HCR-20, VRAG, or both. Results revealed that these measures are typically introduced by the prosecution to inform opinions regarding general violence risk. In addition, consistent with previous research, these data suggest the introduction of the HCR-20 and VRAG is rarely challenged and, when challenged, these challenges are rarely successful. However, data suggest that courts and parole boards may focus on specific risk factors (e.g., lack of insight) at the expense of other, more objective factors. Finally, we offer suggestions for clinicians who have transitioned to the newest version of the HCR-20.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85054315504&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85054315504&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1002/bsl.2376

DO - 10.1002/bsl.2376

M3 - Article

C2 - 30277618

AN - SCOPUS:85054315504

VL - 36

SP - 517

EP - 531

JO - Behavioral Sciences and the Law

JF - Behavioral Sciences and the Law

SN - 0735-3936

IS - 5

ER -