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Judicial Decisions Regarding Expert Evidence on Violence Risk Assessment

Cook, Alana N., Dvorakova, Eva, Storey, Jennifer E. (2021) Judicial Decisions Regarding Expert Evidence on Violence Risk Assessment. Journal of Threat Assessment and Management, . ISSN 2169-4842. E-ISSN 2169-4850. (doi:10.1037/tam0000155) (KAR id:85749)

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Abstract

In Canada, there are legal provisions called Dangerous Offender and Long-Term Offender designations available to apply severe restrictions on individual liberties for persons who engage in serious offences (often repetitive) and who pose a substantial risk for violence. Since establishing the presence of a risk for violence is central to decision making in these cases, an evaluator’s violence risk assessment (VRA) and expert witness testimony play a vital role in hearings for these offenders. The present study examined judicial decisions regarding expert evidence on VRAs submitted to the court in 214 Dangerous Offender/Long-Term Offender hearings identified through the Canadian Legal Information Institute database. Written judicial decisions were analysed for any comments regarding factors related to expert evidence on VRA. The commonalities that were identified, including qualities of: (1) the evaluators, (2) the VRAs completed, and (3) the evaluators’ expert testimony about VRA, offer key considerations for professionals working in the mental health and criminal justice fields. They may also contribute to the development of guidelines for professionals conducting VRA used by courts.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1037/tam0000155
Uncontrolled keywords: violence risk assessment, dangerous offender, judicial decisions, expert evidence, expert witness
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Jennifer Storey
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2021 15:30 UTC
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2021 11:06 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/85749 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Storey, Jennifer E.: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6432-2514
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