The HCR-20 and violence risk assessment - will a peak of inflated expectations turn to a trough of disillusionment? A response to Silva (2020)

Corine de Ruiter, Tamara de Beuf, Vivienne de Vogel, Edward Silva*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/Letter to the editorAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Web of Science)
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The HCR-20 has taken on a life of its own. In forensic services it has been elevated from helpful aide-memoire into a prophetic tool worthy of Nostradamus himself. Almost every outcome is interpreted through it. Despite the evidence of its limited utility, the difficulties of predicting rare events, the narrative fallacies and other heuristic biases it creates, and the massive opportunity costs it entails, commissioners and services alike mandate its use. Yet in routine practice the problems are not acknowledged, multiple conflicts of interest lie unobserved and other opportunities are neglected.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-271
Number of pages3
JournalBJPsych Bulletin
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • Risk assessment
  • violence
  • forensic
  • HCR-20
  • SPJ

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