Forensic Mental Health Practitioners’ Use of Structured Risk Assessment Instruments, Views about Bias in Risk Evaluations, and Strategies to Counteract It

Jennifer Kamorowski*, Corine de Ruiter, Maartje Schreuder, Karl Ask, Marko Jelicic

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The use of structured risk assessment instruments (SRAIs) has increased significantly over the past decades, with research documenting variation between countries. The use of SRAIs, their perceived utility and potential for mitigating bias in forensic risk evaluations (FREs) was investigated in a survey of Dutch forensic mental health practitioners (N = 110) We found generally positive views regarding SRAI utility. Bias in FREs was of concern to respondents. We found no evidence of a bias blind spot (the belief that oneself is less prone to bias than peers/colleagues). SRAIs were rated as the most effective debiasing strategy, but respondents also endorsed introspection. There were few differences in beliefs about sources of bias or debiasing strategies between respondents who had bias training and those who had not, suggesting the need for development of effective strategies to mitigate bias and training related to bias in FREs.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Forensic Mental Health
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 31 Mar 2021

Keywords

  • cognitive bias
  • debiasing strategies
  • forensic mental health
  • forensic risk evaluations
  • risk assessment

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