Forensic risk assessment interviews with youth: how do we elicit the most reliable and complete information? [2020]

When undertaking a forensic risk assessment with a young person, most evaluators complete an assessment interview to elicit autobiographical history as well as perspectives, thoughts and feelings about the individual’s offending behaviour. While forensic risk assessment tools provide some suggestions on interview questions and techniques, there is no empirical research that explores the most effective strategies for eliciting detailed and reliable information in this context. This article reviews existing recommendations from the related fields of investigative interviewing and suicide risk assessment and integrates this with guidance from the forensic risk assessment literature to identify best practice recommendations for evaluators. It is hoped that this review will provide a starting point to explore how research from other fields may be integrated into risk assessment interviews to improve the quality and accuracy of forensic assessment.

Chelsea L. Leach & Martine B. Powell
Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, Volume 27, 2020 – Issue 3