Predicting and preventing violence against criminal justice officials

A “triage tool” that can help law enforcement more accurately assess threats of violence and predict attacks against police, judges, and other criminal justice officials can lead to better preventive measures. The violence risk factors and risk management strategies that form the basis for an effective approach to minimizing such targeted attacks are described in the article “Threat to Criminal Justice Officials: If It Is Predictable, It Is Preventable,” published in Violence and Gender, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers . The article is available free on the Violence and Gender website until January 30, 2017.

Matthew H. Logan, PhD, HALO Forensic Behavioural Specialists (British Columbia, Canada), provides a scoring system to rank numerous danger-related factors, such as rule breaking, violence at a young age, and substance abuse. Dr. Logan presents specific case studies and the scores each of the violent offenders received, indicating the threat they represented to criminal justice officials. He asserts that being proactive and identifying high-risk individuals that may pose a threat can save lives.

“Dr. Logan’s triage tool, which establishes violent risk factors that can put a first responder at risk is something every law enforcement officer, probation and parole officer, case worker, and social worker must have in their back pocket when responding to a home or other location where the potential for violence is real,” says Editor-in-Chief Mary Ellen O’Toole, PhD, Forensic Behavioral Consultant and Senior FBI Profiler/Criminal Investigative Analyst (ret.) Director of the Forensic Sciences Program, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA. “Dr. Logan has spent years putting this tool together based on his own experience as a clinical psychologist, a behavioral analyst, and a sworn member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. He chose this journal to share this assessment tool, because of our multidisciplinary readership and the ever-growing need for our first responders to have a way to assess for danger before walking through that front door, where so many have been killed in the past.”

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