Beyond Mental Health Disorders: Risk Assessment by Using the 4th Generation of Forensic Tools

Keywords: health disorders, risk assessment, criminogenic factors, criminal behavior


The causal relationship between mental health disorders and (violent) recidivism is weak. Beyond mental health disorders, criminogenic factors contribute to the prediction of recidivism. In order to be effective, interventions need to be offense-oriented, i.e. focused on factors that are directly associated to the offense mechanism. To treat mental health disorders while ignoring criminogenic needs is highly ineffective. A risk/needs orientation of the criminal justice system must be emphasized. Therefore, psychiatric treatment will not be sufficient to prevent future criminal behavior. The main approach should be based on explaining the mechanism of the offense to understand the underlying offense dynamic and develop on that basis a well-fitting intervention strategy. FOTRES (Forensic Operationalized Therapy/Risk Evaluation System) is a structured professional judgment (SPJ) tool of the 4th. generation designed to assess recidivism risk and to monitor treatment progress and intervention quality. FOTRES now is already implemented within the Risk-Oriented Enforcement of Sentence (ROES) project in Switzerland. The cost-benefit analysis with the ROES is positive. The tool is widley used also in Germany and Austria.


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How to Cite
Giacomuzzi, S., Velasquez, S., & Garber, K. (2019). Beyond Mental Health Disorders: Risk Assessment by Using the 4th Generation of Forensic Tools. Psychological Counseling and Psychotherapy, (11), 49-58.

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