INTELLIGENCE Volume 2, Issue 4, Winter 2014: Half-Life of Knowledge Underscores the Importance of Continued Professional Development

INTELLIGENCE Volume 2, Issue 4, Winter 2014

Welcome to the fourth issue of the second volume of intelligence.

Intelligence will keep you up to date with the recent advances in threat assessment from around the globe. World leading threat assessment figures have agreed to share their knowledge and experiences and serve on the Intelligence editorial board.

We also encourage you to contribute and provide feedback.

I would like to extend a warm welcome to Mr. Geoff Brown who is the new president of the Asia Pacific Association of Threat Assessment Professionals (APATAP), formerly known as The Australasian Association of Threat Assessment Professionals (AATAP). Mr. Brown has extensive experience working in the field of threat assessment as the Group Investigations Manager responsible for ensuring a safe and secure workplace environment for approximately 29,000 employees located in 90 offices across the Asian Region of Microsoft. Mr. Brown is replacing Dr. Lisa Warren as a member on the editorial board for Intelligence.

Also extend a warm welcome to Dr. Patricia Zapf to our editorial board. Dr. Zapf has contributed our latest research update, Half-Life of Knowledge Underscores the Importance of Continued Professional Development: Chances are You Know Half as Much as You Did 7 Years Ago, and is leading the field by being among the first to provide online training opportunities for threat assessment professionals. See the product update section of this Newsletter for information about upcoming online training to be released in Spring 2014!

We hope Intelligence will continue to provide a forum for you to share and develop your expertise in threat assessment.

Sincerely,

Kelly A. Watt, PhD
Threat Assessment Specialist
ProActive ReSolutions Inc.

 

Latest Research

Half-Life of Knowledge Underscores the Importance of Continued Professional Development: Chances are You Know Half as Much as You Did 7 Years Ago

Update by Dr. Patricia Zapf

The half-life of knowledge is an interesting and important concept and refers to the number of years that it would take for half of the information or knowledge available in a field of study to become defunct or superseded by new information. This number, of course, varies by field or specialized area of study.

With respect to threat assessment, two areas of psychology provide the best estimates: the half-life for information relevant to forensic psychology is currently estimated to be 7.5 years and for police psychology to be 8.3 years. Estimates of the future half-life of these specializations are 6.6 years for forensic psychology and 7.2 years for police psychology. Thus, without any additional professional training or development, our knowledge base falls to about 50% within a 7-year period.

Rapid developments in our knowledge and skill sets underscore the importance of keeping up to date with the research for implementation into practice. A cursory review of the research literature in the area of threat assessment shows that we have gone from thinking about dangerousness, to the importance of empirically established risk factors, to the relevance of risk communication, to models of structured professional judgment that highlight the management of risk factors, all within the last two decades.

Information regarding the half-life of knowledge serves to underscore the importance of continued professional development. Professionals who work in the area of threat assessment should seek out professional development experiences on an annual basis to ensure that they are keeping up with and have the opportunity to implement into practice the most recent developments. Budget cuts and lack of financial resources are common reasons why professionals do not obtain regular updates to their training; however, recent developments in online education now allow for cost-effective professional training opportunities in an online format that are as effective as in-person training opportunities.

Given the half-life of knowledge, it is imperative that professionals make a concerted effort to stay on top of recent developments in research and practice. Seeking out professional development or training opportunities (either in-person or online) on a regular basis will serve to minimize the chance of using outdated information or being left behind.

Neimeyer, G. J., Taylor, J. M., & Rozensky, R. H. (2012). The diminishing durability of knowledge in professional psychology: A Delphi Poll of specialties and proficiencies. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 43, 364-371.

 

Practice Update

EARA: The Elder Abuse Risk Assessment Guide

Update by Dr. Jennifer E. Storey

Elder abuse is a serious social health issue impacting between 4% and 7% of seniors worldwide. With an estimated 84% of cases going unreported, the problem may actually be much larger (National Center on Elder Abuse, 1998; Wolf et al., 2002; WHO, 2002). In Canada, like many other countries, instances of elder abuse are only expected to rise as the population of adults over the age of 65 is projected to make up 25% of the population by 2031 (Statistics Canada, 2007).

Research on elder abuse is limited and is estimated to lag some 30 years behind that of intimate partner violence and child abuse (Dyer, Connolly & McFeeley, 2003). Until recently the only available tools to assist practitioners were screening tools. Nothing existed to assist in the assessment and management of elder abuse once it was identified. To fill this practice need the Elder Abuse Risk Assessment Guide or EARA (Storey, Hart, & Kropp, 2011) was developed. The EARA is a structured professional judgment tool. It is based on a comprehensive review of the literature and best practices in the field of threat assessment, and is consistent with the law. The EARA helps to inform practice by guiding the evaluator in assessing risk factors related to the nature of the abuse, the perpetrator, the victim, and the community support available to them. It also helps to determine management strategies for reducing risk in each case.

The identification, investigation, assessment, and management of elder abuse are tasks that require the expertise and efforts of several types of professionals, including those in the criminal justice, physical health care, and mental health care fields. As such, the EARA was developed to be applicable and useful to a wide variety of professionals working with elder abuse victims and perpetrators. The EARA was also designed to facilitate communication and coordination between these groups of professionals.

The population of seniors and public awareness regarding elder abuse are growing and in the coming years it will become increasingly important for professionals in the criminal justice and health care fields to enhance their knowledge and practice skills in this area. The EARA attempts to assist in this development by providing an empirically based method to structure the assessment and management of elder abuse.

The EARA is currently in draft form and the focus of validation research. The authors are looking for additional sites interested in piloting and testing the EARA. For additional information about the EARA, please contact Dr. Jennifer Storey at jstorey@sfu.ca.

 

Book Review

International Handbook of Threat Assessment

Review by Dr. Kelly A. Watt

Significant developments have been made in the field of threat assessment and management over the last two decades. The newly released International Handbook of Threat Assessment, edited by Dr. Reid Meloy and Dr. Jens Hoffmann, provides a detailed and comprehensive review of the most cutting edge theory, research and practice in this area. Impressively, contributors to the handbook span the globe providing a truly international and collaborative perspective on the prevention of violence worldwide.

The handbook is divided into three sections embedding practical examples of threat assessment and management in rich theory and extensive research. Section one discusses foundational issues related to threat assessment and management, contemporary understanding of threats, warning behaviours for violence, as well as practical and legal issues in this area.

Section two explores different fields of practice related to threat assessment such as workplace violence, school and campus violence, intimate partner violence, stalking, honour based violence, and anonymous, insider and cyber threats. Section three illustrates the implementation of threat assessment and management into practice in diverse settings around the world, such as the Los Angeles Police Department Threat Management Unit, the United Kingdom Fixated Threat Assessment Centre, and Australia’s Problem Behaviour Program.

This handbook is a must read for anyone currently practicing in the area of threat assessment and management or who is interested in practicing in this area in the future. A comprehensive review of the handbook will be forthcoming in an upcoming issue of Journal of Threat Assessment and Management.
Meloy, J. R., & Hoffmann, J. (Eds.). (2014). International handbook of threat assessment. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. [ISBN: 9780199924554]

 

Industry Association News

American Association of Threat Assessment Professionals

Message and Conference Recap from President Keith Hammond

As the end of another year nears, for many it is a time of reflection on events that have transpired and contemplation on what next year will look like. This deliberation is no different for the CATAP Executive as we are continuously looking to improve the services that we provide for our members and for those who attend our conferences. During this last year we have worked to improve our already strong relationship with the other threat assessment associations (ATAP, AETAP and APTAP) and I’m proud to say that our connection has never been stronger. The pathways are aligned and I’m confident this will allow us to work more collaboratively for the betterment of all. The future is extremely promising.

Our recent conference, held for the third time at the Banff Springs Hotel, was by all accounts the best we have hosted. The facility was outstanding but we also worked hard to cover the topics that previous attendees had asked us to. We had three themes this year: school and post-secondary violence; cyber threats and social media issues; and mental health, specifically the challenges when dealing with individuals subject to being defined as Not Criminally Responsible on Account of Mental Disorder (NCRMD). I can’t thank our presenters enough for the openness and generosity with which they shared their knowledge. This year the Executive assigned a champion to work with each presenter in order to ensure the end product received by the attendee was on topic and of value. Our goal was to provide all attendees with a tangible threat assessment or threat management learning point with every presentation. From the feedback received I’m convinced we met that expectation. In all cases the presenters worked seamlessly with us to ensure the maximum value was delivered. The reviews on all were outstanding.

During the conference I announced that next year’s workshop and conference is being held at the Chateau Whistler in beautiful Whistler BC in the middle of September. News flash, we are currently in the process of making some adjustments to the date and will let all CATAP members and previous attendees know when things are confirmed. This change of date, pending for the week of October 20th 2014, is in direct response to feedback from the nearly 50 attendees from schools and post-secondary institutions. Almost all have stated that a September conference is very challenging for them to attend given the start of a new school year. In response to these valuable members of CATAP and a significant and growing cohort we are working with the hotel to make this adjustment.

During the conference we also had a meeting on the accreditation process for those working in the field of threat assessment. This meeting was as robust a discussion as I’ve participated in and I want to thank everyone who attended – whether you were there to speak or to listen, your participation was greatly appreciated. The end result is that the CATAP Executive has been given the nod to proceed down the accreditation path. This is a process; it will take time to balance the competing interests in order to get it right.

During the conference we also hosted an Expert’s Panel where six of our esteemed presenters offered their time and willingness to be subjected to an open forum of questions. We arranged this as an optional after-hours event to provide attendees with an opportunity to ask questions of people at the top of their fields. This was so successful, with great attendance and participation, that in years to come I’m sure we may have to devise a way to limit attendance. Look for it in Whistler.

I also put out a call for volunteers to help organize our 2014 workshop and conference. Thanks to those who emailed me directly. The successes of our association, providing training and networking opportunities to improve the knowledge, skills and abilities of our members and attendees, is borne on the back of volunteers. In addition to the enjoyment of working with the executive – who are also volunteers – our additional volunteers reap the benefits of considerable good karma for the safety mitigation ripple they help to create. We’ll start the process organizing the conference in earnest in 2014, and will always be looking for more hands so if you are interested please let us know. We are always open to receiving presentation ideas and welcome your emails.

In 2014 we will also be canvasing for sponsorship. As a non-profit, where our only stream of funding is from our modest membership dues and the conference we host, it is always a struggle to find a balance between the services we deliver and the corresponding registration fees we are obliged to charge. Having sponsors, or ideally a significant flagship sponsor, who appreciates the benefits of supporting our programs will allow us to control our fees and improve our services. If you have any ideas or connections please do not hesitate to contact us at catapemail@gmail.com

Lastly, I would like to single out two people who have been exceedingly generous with their time – donated freely year after year – in support of improving the safety of many by educating us on how to prevent terrible things from happening. Drs. Stephen Hart and Kelly Watt are real gems and deserving of considerable accolades – I could never do them justice with just a few nice words.

On behalf of the CATAP Executive I’d like to wish everyone an enjoyable and safe Holiday Season and Happy New Year.

 

Product Update

Online Professional Training in Violence Risk
Assessment and Management Available in Early 2014

ProActive ReSolutions has partnered with CONCEPT (Consolidated Continuing Education & Professional Training) to bring professional training in violence risk assessment and management to an online format for delivery to professionals around the world. The first five training programs are currently enrolling for an early start in 2014. These training programs present the most up to date knowledge and skills in this area by leading international experts in the field. They can accommodate varying levels of experience and are relevant for professionals from diverse backgrounds and settings. The training programs that will be offered are listed below and further details about them can be found on the CONCEPT website at www.concept-ce.com.

Foundational Violence Risk Assessment and Management
Learn More

Special Topics in Violence Risk Assessment and Management
Learn More

Evaluation of Risk for Violence Using the HCR-20 Version 3
Learn More

Evaluation of Risk for Sexual Violence Using the RSVP
Learn More

Advanced Violence Risk Assessment and Management
Learn More

 

Special Announcements

Workplace Violence Prevention Policy Support

Update by Mr. Richard Hart

Over recent years, due to legislative and regulatory changes in many jurisdictions and the increase in risk awareness globally, there has been a virtual explosion in the number of employers internationally who are focusing on developing and implementing workplace violence prevention policies. ProActive ReSolutions, a leading provider in workplace violence prevention training and related services, provides workplace violence prevention policy support services to organizations internationally, helping them to incorporate best practices into the development and implementation of workplace violence prevention policies.

ProActive ReSolutions has worked in over 25 countries, helping employers create respectful workplaces – workplaces that are safe, secure and productive, free of workplace violence and related behaviors. Please contact us if we can be of assistance to your organization via email at info@proactive-resolutions.com or in via phone at our offices in Canadian, Australian, or United States (www.proactive-resolutions.com).

 

Upcoming Events

ProActive ReSolutions
Violence Risk Assessment and Management for Post Secondary Institutions Workshop
January 27-31, 2014
Vancouver, British Columbia
Learn More

ProActive ReSolutions
Special Topics in Violence Risk Assessment and Management
February 10-14, 2014
Edmonton, Alberta
Learn More

Specialized Training Services
Campus and School Violence Threat Management
February 19, 2014
Irvine, California
Learn More

Specialized Training Services
Advanced Threat Assessment and Threat Management
February 20-21, 2014
Irvine, California
Learn More

ProActive ReSolutions
Violence Triage Workshop
March 17, 2014
Canberra, Australia

March 19, 2014
Sydney, Australia
Learn More

ProActive ReSolutions
HCR-20 Version 3 Workshop
March 20-21, 2014
Sydney, Australia
Learn More

Association of European Threat Assessment Professionals
Annual Conference
April 7-11, 2014
Stockholm, Sweden
Learn More

International Association of Forensic Mental Health Services
Annual Conference
June 19-22, 2014
Toronto Canada
Learn More

ProActive ReSolutions
Violence Risk Assessment and Management for Post Secondary Institutions Workshop
June 9-13, 2014
Guelph Canada
Learn More

Association of Threat Assessment Professionals
Annual Conference
August 12-15, 2014
Anaheim, California
Learn More

Canadian Association of Threat Assessment Professionals
Annual Conference
October 20-24, 2014 (TBC)
Whistler, British Columbia
Learn More

Asia Pacific Association of Threat Assessment Professionals
Annual Conference
November 26-28, 2014
Brisbane, Australia
Learn More

Contribute

We welcome ideas for contributions from all readers. E-­mail your suggestions to the editor (kwatt@proactive-­resolutions.com) or associate editor (rkropp@proactive-­resolutions.com)

Visit us at www.proactive-­resolutions.com
Follow us on twitter@buildingrespect

Editorial Board

Bram Van der Meer
Van der Meer Investigative / President, AETAP

Chuck Tobin
AT-RISK International / President, ATAP

David James
Fixated Threat Assessment Centre

Glenn Sheil
Ontario Provincial Police

Geoff Brown
Microsoft ASIA / President, AATAP

Henrik Belfrage
Mid Sweden University

J. Reid Meloy
Forensis, Inc.

John Monahan
University of Virginia

James R. P. Ogloff
Monash University

Keith Hammond
Vancouver Police Department/ President, CATAP

Kris Mohandie
Operational Consulting International, Inc.

Kelly A. Watt
ProActive ReSolutions Inc.

Lorraine Sheridan
Heriot Watt University

Mario Scalora
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

P. Randy Kropp
ProActive ReSolutions Inc.

Dr. Patricia Zapf
John Jay College of Criminal Justice / CONCEPT

Stephen D. Hart
ProActive ReSolutions Inc.