Evaluation of a Violence Risk (Threat) Assessment Training Program for Police and Other Criminal Justice Professionals

Jennifer Storey, Andrea Gibas, Kim Reeves, Stephen Hart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although a great deal of research has focused on the development and validation of violence risk (threat) assessment instruments, few studies have examined whether professionals can be trained to use these instruments. The present study evaluated the impact of a violence risk assessment training program on the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of 73 criminal justice professionals, including police officers, civilian support staff, and prosecutors. The program covered principles of violence risk assessment, the nature of mental disorder and its association with violence risk, and the use of various structured professional judgment (SPJ) risk assessment instruments. Comparisons of pre- and post-training evaluations indicated significant improvements on measures of knowledge about risk assessment, skills in the analysis of risk in a case vignette, and perceived confidence in conducting violence risk assessments. Findings support the utility of risk assessment training for criminal justice professionals and the utility of SPJ violence risk assessment instruments generally.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)554-564
Number of pages11
JournalCriminal Justice and Behavior
Issue number6
Early online date1 Apr 2011
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2011


  • violence risk assessment
  • threat assessment
  • training
  • structured professional judgment
  • police
  • criminal justice professionals

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