Violence risk assessment

Anthony M. Tarescavage, PhD

Years of Experience
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Scientific Publications
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Professional Presentations
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Psychological Evaluations
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The term violence risk assessment is most commonly associated with the criminal forensic arena. In some cases, the evaluation is conducted during the trial to inform judicial decisions regarding bail and sentencing. In other cases, the assessment is conducted prior to an insanity aquittee earning conditional release from a psychiatric institution. Dr. Tarescavage has published several peer-reviewed research articles on violence risk assessment. 

Prior to their Violence Risk Assessment with Dr. Tarescavage, the evaluee will complete a brief history questionnaire. They will also sign releases of information requesting medical records from treatment providers. Finally, the evaluee will prepare a short list of people who know them well, along with contact information. The in-person component of the evaluation lasts approximately 3.0 hours and begins with an overview of the purpose of the evaluation as well as a review of the limitations on confidentiality. After introductions, the evaluee  typically completes one-hour of psychological testing. This testing generally includes the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-3 (MMPI-3), a widely-used and well-validated psychological test.  This testing provides a comprehensive and objective foundation for a well-informed and impartial clinical interview. After testing is completed, Dr. Tarescavage conducts the clinical interview. The first part of the interview involves the collection of background information (family, educational, medical, employment, military, legal, and substance use). The second part of the interview is the diagnostic assessment. Dr. Tarescavage will assess the evaluee’s symptoms, the course of their problems, and impairment. Next, during the most comprehensive aspect of the assessment, Dr. Tarescavage conducts a structured professional judgment violence risk assessment (the HCR-20-V3). This instrument is the gold standard for assessing violence risk. Finally, Dr. Tarescavage gives the evaluee preliminary feedback on their assessment results. However, Dr. Tarescavage will never give feedback on his opinion regarding the evaluee’s violence risk. After the in-person evaluation is completed, Dr. Tarescavage will conduct a record review and collateral contact process and write a 7 to 10 page report detailing his findings and opinions. The referral source will receive the report within three business days of the evaluation (assuming additional records do not need to be requested). If the evaluee is interested in obtaining a copy of the evaluation, they will need to contact the referral source. 

These evaluations are criminal forensic assessments, which include competency to stand trial, not guilty by reason of insanity, mitigation of penalty, violence risk assessment, and intervention in lieu of conviction evaluations