Authors: Jon Taylor, Derbyshire Community Forensic Mental Health Team and Centre for Developmental and Complex Trauma, UK and Kerensa Hocken, His Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service, UK.



The assessment of risk is a central component of forensic practice with clinicians regularly being required to undertake formal risk assessments using Structured Professional Judgment tools. While these tools guide practitioners to identify areas of concern, they do little to establish the function of risk factors or the context(s) that influenced the consolidation of harmful capacities. In this paper we argue for a compassionate approach to risk assessment that incorporates a functional analysis of the influence of learning experiences and promotes insight into the initial function of risks. We attempt to illustrate this process using case studies throughout.

Keywords: Formulation, Forensic risk, Compassion Focused Therapy, Trauma informed, Offending behaviour, Structured Professional Judgment tools.


Vol 5, Issue 1, April 2024