The Violence Prediction Scheme: Assessing Dangerousness in High Risk Men


93 pages
Contains Illustrations, Bibliography
ISBN 0-919584-74-8
DDC 364.4'1




Reviewed by Tony Barclay

Tony Barclay is a retired juvenile corrections probation officer and a
former public-health research associate at the University of Toronto.


This book offers guidelines for assessing the probability of violent
behavior on the part of soon-to-be-released male prisoners. The authors
(four psychologists and a psychometrist) review cases in which prisoners
were released by the courts after they had been judged to be societal
risks. Webster and his co-authors show that the judgments used to
identify the risk factors in many of these cases were highly
questionable. They go on to examine risk factors used to predict
violence and conclude the book by outlining a format parole boards can
use in preparing their reports. A specimen case history, an actuarial
risk appraisal, and a list of predictors are included as appendices.

The Violence Prediction Scheme is an important attempt to introduce
scientific methodology into the difficult process of assessing high-risk


Webster, Christopher D., et al., “The Violence Prediction Scheme: Assessing Dangerousness in High Risk Men,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed February 24, 2024,