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Encyclopedia of Psychology and Law

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Encyclopedia of Psychology and Law

Brian L. Cutler

Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 21, 2008 | DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781412959537 | Print ISBN: 9781412951890 | Online ISBN: 9781412959537 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.

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HCR–20 For Violence Risk Assessment

Kevin S. Douglas

The HCR–20 Violence Risk Assessment Scheme is a 20-item violence risk assessment tool, accompanied by a 97-page user's manual. It is intended to structure clinical decisions about the risk for violence posed by adult forensic psychiatric patients, civil psychiatric patients, and criminal offenders (whether mentally disordered or not). The HCR–20 is relevant to the field of law and psychology because violence risk assessment is a psychological decision-making task that routinely transpires within legal and forensic settings. This entry describes the development, content, and conceptual basis of the HCR–20, its intended application, user qualifications, and a summary of evaluation research. The 20 HCR–20 risk factors are dispersed across three scales: Historical (10 risk factors), Clinical (5 risk factors), and Risk Management (5 risk factors). The Historical scale focuses on past events, experiences, and psychiatric conditions (e.g., past violence, young age at first violence, major mental illness, psychopathy, personality disorder, childhood maladjustment), ...

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