Forensic Psych

Practice Risk Assessment

Did this as an assignment for my Forensic Assessment class this semester. It was kind of fun/interesting to do one of these yourself. Here is how I wrote mine. As always, this is MY work. Do not steal/plagiarize/copy. Thank you! This was really my first ever attempt at anything like this, so it is definitely no where near the standard of those who are forensic evaluators in the real world. :) This is a fictional case by the way. Any resemblance to any real person is coincidental!

 

Risk Assessment

Diagnostic Impressions

 

Axis I: 799.9  Diagnosis or Condition Deferred on Axis I

Axis II: 301.7  Antisocial Personality Disorder

 

Mr. Smith has a history of issues with alcohol and has been previously diagnosed with alcohol abuse. Mr. Smith reports that he abused alcohol most frequently between the ages of 24 and 29. However there is not enough evidence present at this time to diagnose him. There is no evidence that he was struggling with alcohol when he was arrested for the sex offenses in 1993. In 1992, he was arrested for a DUI and was required to attend AA as a part of his probation requirements. However, he reports attending AA only on an inconsistent basis. Additionally, there were no cases of infractions involving alcohol while he has been in prison. He was found with cigarettes and pornography while in prison, but there are no available reports of finding alcohol. Due to this lack of evidence and the apparent lack of access to alcohol or drugs while in prison, there is insufficient information to make a diagnosis regarding alcohol abuse at this time.

 

A personality disorder is a pattern of inner behaviors that are noticeably different from the behaviors of others in the environment. Antisocial personality disorder is a continuous pattern of disregard for, and violation of others’ rights that begins in one’s youth. Generally this involves some of the following behavioral patterns: a failure to follow social norms, impulsivity, disregard for others or self and constant irresponsibility. Based on the examined reports, Mr. Smith’s behavioral patterns are consistent with a diagnosis of Antisocial Personality Disorder. Mr. Smith’s criminal record suggests a failure to conform to social norms in that he has been charged and convicted of several crimes such as drunk and disorderly conduct, DUI, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, carnal knowledge of a juvenile, object sexual penetration, and possession of child pornography. These clearly suggest he has participated in many different activities that are grounds for arrest. Records also indicate impulsivity. For example, Mr. Smith has an inconsistent work history and has not held a job for a long period of time. Records indicate disregard for self or others. For example, Mr. Smith has been in several physical altercations, has been suspected of theft, and has been charged with carnal knowledge of a juvenile. Lastly, Mr. Smith’s records indicate irresponsibility. For example, Mr. Smith attended AA only on an inconsistent basis although he was required to for probation, and he has not had a steady work history.

 

Although Mr. Smith has been convicted of carnal knowledge of a juvenile, there is no evidence that Mr. Smith has a history of sexual assault on children or adults before the most recent charge. The Abel and the plesmograph suggest that Mr. Smith has a sexual preference for prepubescent males, however Mr. Smith denies this preference and available records indicate no history of offenses involving males victims. Therefore, a diagnosis of pedophilia cannot be given based on available records.

 

Identification of Risk Factors

 

            Mr. Smith demonstrated several risk factors linked to sexual recidivism. First, sexual preoccupation is associated with an increase in risk for sexual recidivism. Mr. Smith’s self report and records all indicate many instances of sexual preoccupation. Mr. Smith reported that he was going to end his relationship with his previous girlfriend because she was “‘always too tired’ to ‘take care of business’ and that he was frustrated with her repeated refusal at his frequent sexual advances.” Mr. Smith also reported offering to babysit for single women because he found this to be a “way to gain favor with women he found sexually attractive.” Mr. Smith also reportedly asked other inmates to discuss the details of their sexual assaults during group therapy, and on one occasion gave one inmate a high-five for sexually assaulting an 18 year old woman, saying that he would not have “been able to get a girl like that these days.” Mr. Smith also reported having a sexual relationship with his cell mate between 1992 and 1995 out of “convenience” and to have “intimate” contact with someone while in prison. Additionally, Mr. Smith reported having 40 female sexual partners in his lifetime, most of which were only “casual” relationships. All of these items suggest that Mr. Smith has an intense interest in sex, has frequent sex, but is often dissatisfied with his own sexual life. This sexual preoccupation increases Mr. Smith’s risk for sexual recidivism.

 

Mr. Smith also shows signs of having attitudes that are supportive of sexual assault, which increases his risk for sexual recidivism. Records suggest that Mr. Smith endorsed arousal to stimuli involving bondage and the humiliation of women, but Mr. Smith denies endorsing this, saying that he was not feeling well at the time of the test and answered in the affirmative to every question to end the test quickly. During group therapy, Mr. Smith wanted to know explicit details of the other inmates’ sexual assaults, and gave inmate a high-five for sexually assaulting an 18 year old woman, saying that he would not have “been able to get a girl like that these days.” Mr. Smith’s attitude seems to justify sexual assaults and make light of them. He reportedly said that he only asked for details in order to “liven things up” and have some “fun.”

 

Records and self-reports indicate that Mr. Smith has a history of impulsivity. Impulsivity in life is a factor that is also known to increase the risk of sexual recidivism. For example, Mr. Smith switched jobs frequently, reported leaving work often without notice, and was fired from a job after he was suspected of theft from the company. Mr. Smith also has problems with supervision, which also increases his risk for sexual recidivism. For example, Mr. Smith attended AA inconsistently, received 76 infractions while incarcerated, such as possession of contraband (e.g., cigarettes and pornography), sexual activity, and masturbation, and was also asked to leave group therapy on several occasions because he made inappropriate comments. Mr. Smith would also leave individual therapy without warning even though he would receive institutional infractions as a consequence. Mr. Smith also reported being frustrated with having to register for the sex offender registry because “women always check those things.”

 

Mr. Smith received a score of 31 on the PCL-R, which is one of the most accurate measures of psychopathy at this time. If an individual’s score is above 30, he or she is considered psychopathic. Psychopathy is a risk factor that increases the risk for sexual recidivism. Psychopathy involves individuals who have poor behavioral controls, impulsivity, irresponsibility, criminal versatility (e.g., numerous types of crime such as what is found in Mr. Smith’s record), early behavioral problems (e.g., Mr. Smith’s early criminal history, physical altercations, truancy, etc.), and other similar qualities that show a disregard for one’s own safety or that of others. Mr. Smith’s risk for sexual recidivism increases due to Mr. Smith’s score of 31 on the PCL-R and his background supporting the score.

Mr. Smith was also given the STATIC-99R, which is one of the best-validated measures of risk for sexual offenders. This measure is conservative in that it tells you what risk factors to examine, how to score the items, what the final score is, and how to interpret that score. In addition to this, it uses little clinical judgment, which helps to reduce bias. The STATIC-99R is solely used on males who have been charged and convicted of sexual offending and it examines the reconvictions of a sexual offender rather than the re-arrests to determine his risk. Compared to other adult male sex offenders, Mr. Smith’s score is in the 31.7th percentile (defined as a midpoint average). Taking into account that about 15.7% of sex offenders shared the same score as Mr. Smith, the percentile means that roughly 23.9% of offenders scored lower than Mr. Smith, and 60.4% scored higher. Mr. Smith scored a 1 on the Static-99R. Offenders with the same score as Mr. Smith from the routine/preselected treatment need/preselected high risk and needs/non-routine samples have been found to sexually reoffend at a rate of 9.4 percent in five years and 15.7 percent in ten years. Mr. Smith’s score of 1 on the STATIC-99R suggests that he is at a low risk.

 

There are a number of risk factors that increase risk for sexual recidivism that Mr. Smith does not demonstrate. Mr. Smith lacks a history of male victims, a history of sexualized violence, paraphilias, a history of sexual offending, and there is no evidence that he has negative social influences or stranger victims. According to the Abel and plesmograph, Mr. Smith has a sexual preference for prepubescent males, but he reports that this is not true and records show no history of male victims and only one female victim. This suggests that he also lacks a sexual preference for children, which also decreases his risk of sexual recidivism. Furthermore, Mr. Smith has had intimate relationships with adults in the past (e.g., his grandmother, wife of 3 years, and a girlfriend for 3 years), which would decrease his risk of sexual recidivism. However, Mr. Smith does not mention having an intimate relationship with anyone outside of the prison at this time. His history suggests that he could potentially develop one upon release, but if he does not develop one, his risk could increase. Mr. Smith is also out of the age range for increased risk, therefore decreasing his risk of sexual recidivism upon release.

 

Conclusion

 

In our professional opinion, based upon the available information and the risk factors discussed above, Mr. Smith is at a low-moderate risk of sexually recidivating. Mr. Smith presents with many of the risk factors for sexual recidivism such as sexual preoccupation, attitudes supportive of sexual assault, impulsivity, psychopathy, and problems with supervision. The results of the Abel and plesmograph suggest that Mr. Smith demonstrated a sexual preference for prepubescent males, but he denies this and there is no evidence that he has a history of offending against males. In fact, Mr. Smith has no history of sexual offending outside of the current offense. Mr. Smith presents with fewer risk factors for recidivism than the risk factors that he lacks. Mr. Smith is out of the age range, he has no history of male victims or sexualized violence, no paraphilias, no history of sexual offending in general, no known negative social influences, no stranger victims, and he does appear to be capable of having intimate relationships with adults.

 

Mr. Smith has indeed been convicted of a sexually violent offense (e.g. carnal knowledge of a juvenile and object sexual penetration), but has no other history of sexually violent offenses. He does have a mental abnormality in that he is diagnosed with Antisocial Personality Disorder, but this does not appear to make it difficult for him to control his predatory behavior, as he evidences no past history of sexual offenses and denies the current offense. He is at a low to moderate level of risk for sexually violent recidivism, however, because while he has no previous sexual offenses, he does struggle with impulse control issues (e.g., impulsivity) and this could be related to his diagnosis of Antisocial Personality Disorder (APD). He also exhibits risk factors of sexual recidivism which could be linked, at least in part, to his APD. His APD may be linked to predatory behavior, but he has no history of other sexual offenses and so it is our professional opinion that Mr. Smith is at a low to moderate risk for sexually recidivating.

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