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Research in Clinical Forensic Settings
The provision of clinical services in forensic settings is, in some ways, very similar to non-forensic settings. However, forensic populations may provide challenges not typically seen in other settings. One challenge in many forensic clinical settings is the prediction of future behavior. In many cases, the behavior of interest is violence. Violence, like many behaviors that are rare, is, at best, difficult to predict. Much research has been conducted on the various methods used to predict future violence. From actuarial risk measures to clinical intuition, forensic psychology researchers have debated the best way to assess the potential for violent acts.
Other psychological issues found in clinical forensic settings and that trigger research questions include the development of treatment programs to restore an individual’s competency to stand trial, the treatment of the criminally insane, sex offender assessment and treatment, and even the general evaluation of the need for long-term placement. Research can help forensic psychology professionals make important decisions in these and other related areas.
To prepare for this Discussion:
Review this week’s DVD program, “Application of Psychological Research – Clinical Settings.” Consider the areas of forensic psychology research that are relevant to forensic clinical settings.
Review the article, “ Actuarial Versus Clinical Assessments of Dangerousness,” in this week’s Learning Resources.
Pay particular attention to the studies discussed in the article and the key “takeaways” from these studies. Think about how a forensic psychology professional might use the findings of the studies in a forensic clinical setting.
Using the Walden Library, select and review another study, current or historical, that was conducted in a forensic clinical setting.
Again, focus on the key “takeaways” of the study you selected and think about how the findings might be used by a forensic psychology professional in forensic clinical settings.
Learning Resources
This page contains the Learning Resources for this week. Be sure to scroll down the page to see all of this week’s assigned Learning Resources. To access select media resources, please use the media player below.
Reading
Article: Litwack, T. R. (2001). Actuarial versus clinical assessments of dangerousness. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 7(2), 409-443.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
Media
Video: Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2009). Understanding forensic psychology research: Application of psychological research – Clinical settings. Baltimore: Author.
Optional Resources
Note: Because of the ever-changing nature of websites such as those listed below, there is no guarantee that clips or websites will always be available. Hence, the following links are listed as Optional Resources only. However, it is highly recommended that you view them as they will assist you in completing one or more of your assignments.
Monograph: O’Toole, M. E. (n.d.). The school shooter: A threat assessment perspective. Retrieved October 1, 2009, from http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/school-shooter
Article: Boothby, J. L., & Clements, C. B. (2000). A national survey of correctional psychologists. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 27(6), 716-732.
Article: Homant, R., & Kennedy, D. (1998). Psychological aspects of crime scene profiling. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 25(3), 319–343.
Report: U.S. Department of Justice. (2003). Federal Bureau of Prisons drug interdiction activities, report number 1-2003-002. Retrieved from http://www.justice.gov/oig/reports/BOP/e0302/final.pdf

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