Question: What is a Violence Risk Assessment?

Answer: A violence risk assessment seeks to determine a person’s potential for future violent behavior. This is done by fully reviewing the person’s background and current functioning. Psychometric testing is likely involved. The evaluator then compares this data against known risk factors for violent behavior. From there, a risk level is assigned based on the number, pattern and recency of these risk factors. The evaluator might categorize someone as low risk if, for example, their evaluation indicates few known risks for violent behavior.  

Question: When would someone ask for a Violence Risk Assessment?

Answer: Violence risk assessments are quite useful in the Human Resource arena. When hiring new employees, one wants to know that they are of stable-mind and not prone to violent outbursts. These assessments are also useful in the legal arena for lawyers or police officers seeking a psychological description (i.e., psychological profile) of their client, witness, defendant, suspect or person of interest. Violence risk assessments are frequently part of a Mitigating Factors Evaluation.