Centro de Documentação da PJ
Analítico de Periódico

CD 335
Psychopathy assessments in forensic psychiatry [Recurso eletrónico] : a pilot study of Canadian practitioners’ use and perceptions / Rasmus Rosenberg Larsen ..[et al.]
Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice, Vol. 9, n. 1 (2023), p. 1-13
Ficheiro de 143 KB em formato PDF.


Purpose – The purpose of this study was to survey practitioners’ use and perceptions of psychopathy assessments in Canadian forensic psychiatric settings. Psychopathy assessments are widely used in forensic settings to inform decisions about sentencing, placement, rehabilitation and parole. Recent empirical evidence suggests that the utility of psychopathy assessments might be overestimated, leading to a debate about their legal and ethical justification. However, one shortcoming of these discussions is that they rely heavily on anecdotal evidence about how exactly psychopathy assessments influence forensic decisions, due to a general lack of survey data on field uses. Some data are available in European and American contexts, but little is known about Canadian clinical practice. Design/methodology/approach – To address this shortcoming in the literature, the authors conducted a pilot study of practitioners in forensic psychiatric units in Ontario (N = 18), evaluating their use of psychopathy assessments, reporting habits and their perceptions of psychopathic offenders. Findings – Practitioners reported that they primarily used the Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R) as a risk assessment tool, often in combination with other tools. Most clinicians reported using psychopathy assessments infrequently, that there was a low base rate of psychopathic offenders and their attitudes and beliefs about psychopathy were generally consistent with the empirical literature. Originality/value – This pilot study provides novel insights into the use of psychopathy assessments in Canadian forensic psychiatry with the potential to inform current debates.