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Risk assessment of violence in offenders with learning disability

Fitzgerald, Suzanne 2008. Risk assessment of violence in offenders with learning disability. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.

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Methods to predict dangerousness (recidivism and institutional violence) in mentally disordered offenders are well established in the research literature. In stark contrast there have been fewer developments in the prediction of violence in offenders with learning disabilities (LD), a subgroup of mentally disordered offenders. Chapter 1 reviewed the prevalence of offending and recidivism in offenders with LD and concluded that risk assessment of violence was an area that required further research. The literature regarding the risk factors for offending in this population illustrated that it was unclear if the risk factors for offending are qualitatively different to other mentally disordered offenders without LD. This was tested in Chapter 2 and it was found that the factors related to offending in offenders with LD were not different to other mentally disordered offenders. This provided evidence for the criterion validity of 'best practice' risk assessment instruments, the VRAG, the PCL-R and the HCR- 20, already validated in mentally disordered offenders (the predictive efficacy of these instruments was also reviewed in Chapter 1). Chapter 3 and 4 tested the predictive efficacy of the VRAG, the PCL-R (and its variants) and the HCR-20 in offenders with LD by evaluating the ability of the risk assessment instruments to predict long-term re-convictions (Chapter 3) and institutional violence (Chapter 4) in offenders with LD in comparison to a control group of other mentally disordered offenders. It was found that the VRAG, the PCL- R (and its variants) and the HCR-20 have comparable or superior predictive efficacy in offenders with LD. Chapter 5 served to complement these findings with the development of a screening tool for risk of violence in offenders with LD. The research contained in this thesis has extended the evidence base on risk assessment in offenders with LD and should hopefully serve to improve evidence based practice and service provision in forensic services for people with LD.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
L Education > LC Special aspects of education
ISBN: 9781303214011
Funders: Partnerships in Care
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2017 14:33

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