To affect violence risk management decisions, it is necessary to apply a decision threshold to the estimates that actuarial violence risk assessments generate. Despite widespread agreement that the choice of decision threshold is a matter of policy rather than of science, no one has actually asked policy makers about their choices. A survey was conducted asking 26 judges where they would set the decision threshold for instituting short-term civil commitment as a “danger to others.” The five risk assessment options communicated to the judges were the Risk Classes obtained in the MacArthur Study. Results showed great variability among judges. As a group, however, judges chose Risk Class 3 – a 0.26 likelihood of committing a violent act – as their decision threshold for short-term civil commitment.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Phychiatric Mental Health
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Psychiatry and Mental health