Predicting Psychopathic Violence


Assessment tools used to predict how likely a psychopathic prisoner is to re-offend if freed from jail are “no better than chance,” according to a new study in The British Journal of Psychiatry.

Researchers examined three structured risk assessments used by psychiatrists to help determine the likelihood of future violent or criminal behavior.

While “moderate to good predictive accuracy” was found for determining the possibility of future violent behavior in prisoners with no mental disorders, the odds of accurately predicting future violence in those with psychopathic disorder were less than a flip of a coin.

Researchers found the risk assessment tools were around 46 percent accurate.

“Risk assessment instruments cannot be relied upon when managing public risk from individuals with psychopathy,” the researchers conclude.

The full study is available for purchase HERE.

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