Violence Risk Assessment
As assessment of violence risk may be required in legal settings including capital sentencing, MDO evaluations, evaluations of individuals found NGRI, and the evaluation of sexually violent predators. When conducting violence risk assessments, Dr. Ernst carefully considers the presence or absence of risk factors or protective factors that have been empirically associated with the particular type of violence that is being assessed. He additionally conducts an individualized assessment to determine the chain of external and internal events which have historically led to violent episodes. When appropriate, Dr. Ernst utilizes violence risk assessment instruments, such as HCR-20, while carefully considering the extent to which the examinee is represented by the population with which the test was developed or validated, and research on the test’s accuracy rates. When requested, Dr. Ernst recommends interventions which may reduce the risk for violence in the future. Dr. Ernst has completed violence risk assessments of individuals with histories of severe physical or sexual violence who present with psychotic disorders, personality disorders, substance use disorder, psychopathic features, or severe neuropsychological impairment. He is additionally experienced in the retrospective assessment of violence risk as may be applied to civil proceedings.
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