Case Consult Report: Mr. Rose.

Risk Assessment Instrument

One of the most frequent aspects of forensic mental health is answering the questions of risk, needs and responsivity of a forensic client. In the criminal justice field this is most often focused on whether a person will recidivate (commit another or a similar crime), whether they will respond to treatment and what type of treatment needs should be addressed. You have already read about and discussed risk assessment of clients and will be familiar with the term criminogenic needs which are important when determining risk to re-offend. Additionally offenders that have committed a sexual offense need to be assessed for specific characteristics associated with sexual offender recidivism.

Criminogenic needs:

Anti-social personality
Anti-social attitudes and values
Anti-social associates
Family dysfunction
Poor self control and poor problem solving skills
Substance abuse
Lack of employment/employment skills
Sex offender specific needs:

Hostility towards women
Deviant sexual interest
Sexual pre-occupation
Emotional identification with children
When reviewing the case please address the following risk domains:

Employment/Education
Substance abuse
Marital/Family relations
Associates and Social Interaction
Community Functioning
Personal/Emotional orientation
Attitude
Sex Offender Specific
EMPLOYMENT

Factors Considered: This domain deals with the role of work in the offender’s life. Needs indicators include employment history, if any; positive and negative aspects of work history (such as job performance, absenteeism, unstable work record, having been fired, inability to earn sufficient salary to live on, having difficulty with co-workers and/or superiors), educational deficiencies (including intelligence, learning disabilities), and vocational skills).

SUBSTANCE ABUSE

Factors Considered: This domain is concerned with an offender’s problems, if any, with alcohol abuse, drug abuse, and with any prior treatment programs. It includes details concerning the substance abuse, the extent to which alcohol or other drugs interfered with the offender’s pro-social experiences (such as marital/family relations, employment, and social situations), and information about prior substance abuse treatment programming.

MARITAL/FAMILY

Factors Considered: This domain is concerned with an offender’s family relationships. Needs indicators include relationships with parents and siblings, absence of parents, history of family abuse and/or criminality, marital history, dependants, parenting skills, and involvement in child abuse.

ASSOCIATES/SOCIAL INTERACTION

Factors Considered: This domain focuses on the characteristics and qualities of the offender’s interactions with others, particularly the offender’s peer group(s). Anti-social associates and interaction patterns are of special interest. Needs indicators include the extent to which the offender interacts with and is influenced by others with a pro-criminal lifestyle, gang membership, and interactions with others characterized by predation.

COMMUNITY FUNCTIONING

Factors Considered: This domain considers the offender’s capability for functioning adequately in the community. The domain covers a wide range of community living skills: stable, well-maintained place of residence, health, hygiene and nutrition, financial management skills, appropriate leisure time activities, and awareness of available social assistance programs.

PERSONAL/EMOTIONAL ORIENTATION

Factors Considered: This domain covers a multi-faceted and wide range of personal and emotional need factors that have been shown to be predictive of criminal and recidivistic behavior. This dimension includes needs that fall into three major categories:

Cognitive defects, which include problem-solving, inter-personal relationship skills, inability to understand the feelings of others, and narrow, rigid thinking.
Behavioral problems, including behaviors likely to result in negative consequences, such as impulsivity, risk-taking, aggression, anger, frustration tolerance and gambling.
Personal Characteristics, which may increase the likelihood that the offender will be involved in criminal behavior (e.g., personality dispositions, behavioral preferences [including inappropriate sexual attitudes or preferences], and mental status characteristics).
ATTITUDE

Factors Considered: This domain considers the characteristics and extent of the offender’s pro-social and anti-social attitudes. It is concerned with favorable attitudes toward crime and violence and minimization of the impacts of criminal behavior and disregard for convention, the justice system, and the rights of others.

SEX OFFENDER SPECIFIC

Factors Considered: This domain considers the characteristics and extent of the sex offender’s specific risk for recidivism. It is concerned with hostile attitudes towards women (regardless if the victim was a female or an adult), the extent of the offenders interest in deviant sexual practices (either admitted or known through criminal history), how much time the offender spends in sexual activity (engaging in sex, viewing porn, going to strip clubs, talking about sex with others), and the emotional identification with children which can be recognized in an offender’s dress, hobbies, interests, media preferences and ideas about childhood and children (this factor is not considered if the offender has no child [under 14] victims).

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