The role of psychopathic and antisocial personality traits in violence risk assessment: Implications for forensic practice

Michael Brook*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Courts in the United States rely on mental health professionals to assess and predict potential violence in individuals with mental illness during all stages of the jurisprudence process, including criminal sentencing, civil commitment, and release from confinement. For the mental health professional, the task essentially translates into using expertise to generate a time-limited estimate of violence risk. Psychopathy, in general, and the antisocial, impulsive, and irresponsible features of this disorder, in particular, have emerged as the strongest predictors of future violence. Still, there are a number of practical and diagnostic factors that limit the application of these concepts to the courtroom. This article discusses issues pertaining to the assessment and diagnosis of psychopathic and antisocial personality traits, reviews research evidence bearing on predictive validity of these traits in violence risk assessment, and outlines practical suggestions pertinent to forensic practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-180
Number of pages6
JournalPsychiatric Annals
Volume45
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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