To me, actuarial assessment of dangerousness alone won’t work or give reliable information because of the limitations it has although its predication ways have been related to a strong predictive exactness. Therefore this calls for combination of all the methods of assessment to increase the degree of accuracy and reliability as the clinical assessment method depends mainly on specialized judgment which has proved to some extent to be reliable.
Even though latest actuarial method is more reliable and accurate, it only account for more than ten percent while the remaining ninety percent of the difference seen in dangerous offense is unaccounted for hence giving the doubt of using it alone. Although supporters of actuarial prediction method bicker that addition of clinical assessment method will reduce reliability and its accuracy, but it has been shown that the actuarial assessment method hides the sensitivity and specificity and can definitely give slightly inaccurate data and this calls for the combination of the two methods to increase reliability of information (Thomas, 2001).
Actuarial assessment is generally used to set up base-line likelihood, where adjustments are made depending on the perceived significance of other obtainable information. The actuarial tool used conceals problems with the sensitivity which is the exactness of grouping an offender. For example with maximum sensitivity identification of a person as a likely recidivists, will score two or higher as the scale ranges from zero to twelve.
This is where almost all of the sexual recidivists would be correctly identified, that is about ninety two percent but more than half, about fifty five percent of the non-recidivists would be wrongly grouped as dangerous offenders. For specificity scale, highest value identifies the person as a likely non-offender and the value is five or below it. Therefore the part that will exactly group persons as non-recidivists is ninety three while sixty five percent of the recidivists would be incorrectly classified as non-recidivists (Thomas, 2001).
The inaccuracy of the actuarial assessment gives a picture of the problems about how psychological and psychiatric expertise might contribute to legal judgment. This requires the court to consider from the various assessments of the level of risk but not only relying on the actuarial assessment. It is clear the setting of such a high threshold of probability is intended to protect against the illogical or retaliatory imposition of indefinite, post-sentence detention or supervision.
Statistical prediction to a certain level will give vital data to psychiatric risk assessments, but their limitations must be better understood by courts, and more openly accredited and used together with the clinical assessment method. Legal professionals and police officers sometimes are requested to make various decisions based on actuarial and clinical assessments of dangerousness. Reliance on judgments of dangerousness in various legal contexts has led to considerable debate with its attention captured through many publications.
However, a considerable portion of the debate has centered on the accuracy and improvement of these assessment methods rather than the issues concerning the use of dangerousness as a legal criteria. The evaluation must incorporate prospects and constraints of current approaches to risk assessment in the context of capital sentencing. Nowadays new risk assessment methods are being used through psychological expertise of mediated actuarial and quasi-actuarial assessment, and this proves that actuarial assessment cannot be used alone to determine the dangerousness of a recidivist (Packer, 2007)
Actuarial assessment basically involves clear processes of placing persons into various clusters and their statistical occurrences and thereafter relating these clusters to the results. But clinical approach in contrast to this one, entails forecasting the results on the background of understanding the psychological structures and the changes of persons. Therefore there is need of analyzing both the external and internal organizations of a person before the real assessment is done in order to come to a conclusion (www. ohnoward. ab. aca/PUB/c21. htm#clin).
It is well known actuarial assessment way use only extraneous factors to assess. But the vitality of internal wellbeing of the one to be assessed to know whether he or she is normal or not before any judgment can be made is required. Even nowadays police force is forced to carry out clinical assessment of people who do capital offences to determine whether they are mad or they did out of their own will.
Analysis method of combining the information of both clinical and actuarial assessments to make a decision in psychology has been shaped which is also a prove that the actuarial assessment alone cannot effectively contribute substantial information to warrant a judgment unless all the available assessment methods are combined in order to come to an exhaustive conclusion (Psychology Public Policy and Law, 2004). Clinical assessment method today is still everywhere in the judicial arrangements and its advocacy is within the forensic analyzers.
Currently there is still actuarial-clinical debate concerning technical issues that are in wider research context although the debate is driven basically by varied visions on the role of forensic analysis of risks. From the clinician assessment point of view, its main objective of risk assessment is to understand the case and here the risk assessment is based on a valid theory which could be true for the person being assessed. The clinical assessment rather selects changing factors depending on their true statistical relationship with the recidivism (Packer, 2007).
These varying factors will then be chosen because they will help clarify why the dangerous offender is likely or not. This could help manage to reduce the risk by giving the direction Because there is worldwide differentiation between clinical and actuarial assessments, this does not mean that there is crucial variations in the risk management procedures and this provide an ideal situation where the two can be combined to assess dangerousness.
Clinical assessment is also crucial in assessment of dangerousness as actuarial alone won’t give substantive information with regard to the subject of dangerousness as clinical assessment is still used everywhere in the judicial arrangements and entails forecasting the results on the background of understanding the psychological structures and the changes of persons.
Also the clinician assessment of dangerousness is to understand the case and here the risk assessment is based on a valid theory which could be true for the person being assessed. The clinical assessment rather selects changing factors depending on their true statistical relationship with the recidivism.