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Predicting violent reconvictions using the HCR-20

Gray, Nicola S., Taylor, John and Snowden, Robert Jefferson 2008. Predicting violent reconvictions using the HCR-20. British Journal of Psychiatry 192 (5) , pp. 384-387. 10.1192/bjp.bp.107.044065

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Background Risk assessment of future violent acts is of great importance for both public protection and care planning. Structured clinical assessments offer a method by which accurate assessments could be achieved. Aims To test the efficacy of the Historical, Clinical and Risk Management Scales (HCR–20) structured risk assessment scheme on a large sample of male forensic psychiatric patients discharged from medium secure units in the UK. Method In a pseudo-prospective study, 887 male patients were followed for at least 2 years. The HCR–20 was completed using only pre-discharge information, and violent and other offending behaviour post-discharge was obtained from official records. Results The HCR–20 total score was a good predictor of both violent and other offences following discharge. The historical and risk sub-scales were both able to predict offences, but the clinical sub-scale did not produce significant predictions. The predictive efficacy was highest for short periods (under 1 year) and showed a modest fall in efficacy over longer periods (5 years). Conclusions The results provide a strong evidence base that the HCR–20 is a good predictor of both violent and non-violent offending following release from medium secure units for male forensic psychiatric patients in the UK.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Publisher: Royal College of Psychiatrists
ISSN: 0007-1250
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 03:52

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