Involving Forensic Patients in Treatment Planning Increases Cooperation and May Reduce Violence Risk [2019]

Risk assessment in a forensic hospital is a complex process. Decisions made about individuals and their lives cannot be made lightly and must include relevant information from as many sources as possible. The forensic hospital and the greater legal system that oversees forensic treatment have an obligation to protect the safety of the community. Thus, any decision about a forensic patient’s progress from high to low security or eventual transition and discharge into the community must be thoughtful and balanced, and must include input from the patients themselves. Eliciting and providing for patients to articulate how they perceive their own risk and potential stressors and triggers can be potentially helpful in managing their day-to-day progress, safety, and eventual transition out of the hospital.

Daniel J. Papapietro
Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, March 2019, 47 (1)