Best practices for violence risk assessment change from second to second. So, publishing a sourcebook on the topic is a bit like trying to capture and hold a hummingbird. Still, the authorship and range of content may make the Handbook of Violence Risk Assessment an authoritative resource for at least a minute or two -- and then they can publish a second edition.
The volume's first editor, Randy Otto, is a respected forensic psychology scholar. An award-winning professor in the Department of Mental Health Law and Policy at the University of South Florida, he is past president of both the American Psychology-Law Society and the American Board of Forensic Psychology. He also chairs the Committee to Revise the Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychology (which, by the way, has yet a new draft coming out next month), and he is a co-author of the third edition of the widely consulted text, Psychological Evaluations for the Courts. Co-editor Kevin Douglas is a former colleague of Otto's at the Department of Mental Health Law and Policy.
The book begins with an overview chapter by respected forensic scholar Kirk Heilbrun. Remaining chapters -- most written by leading practitioners and instrument developers -- review specific instruments for assessing both adult and juvenile risk for violence, including sexual violence. Tools reviewed include:
- EARL-20B and EARL-21G
- Youth Level of Service/Case Management Inventory
- VRAG, SORAG
- Violence Risk Scale
- Classification of Violence Risk
- Level of Service Inventory
- Spousal Assault Risk Assessment Guide
- SVR-20 / RSVP