Regional Multi-Agency Networks Reduce School Shootings

Stephen White, Ph.D. Winter 2018 Newsletter The Parkland, Florida school shooting has generated a new wave of outrage, controversy, and hopefully some encouraging movement. If you find this feature informative, please share it with your own school districts and law enforcement agencies where you live. As a threat assessment professional, I find the media and public focus in the aftermath …

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Autism and Violence: Threat Assessment Issues

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has a lengthy history in criminal forensic mental health but is rarely discussed in the contemporary threat assessment literature as a cause of or contributor to targeted violence. In the popular media, ASD is sometimes associated with incidents of mass murder, influencing public impressions, but begging the question of what relationship ASD may genuinely have with violence potential.

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Is Workplace or Campus Violence Reactive Anger or Deliberate Planning?: Revisiting a Recurrent Question

Threat assessment and management, the guiding method for the development of the WAVR-21 (Workplace Assessment of Violence Risk), focuses upon targeted violence. It is violent behavior that is planned in advance, and directed against a specific target, usually following a pathway. We read about such violence every day through the commercial media, but the history of this mode of violence is quite interesting, and has direct relevance for corporate and educational settings.

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Case Study: The Isla Vista Campus Community Mass Murder

A case study is presented of a 22-year-old student mass murderer who stabbed or shot to death 6 college students and wounded 14 others. Because he left a lengthy autobiographical “manifesto” and social media posts, and an extensive law enforcement investigation ensued, a significant amount of information exists to examine the case.

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What Motivates Public Figure Attackers?

Public figures – celebrities in the entertainment, sports, and media world, high profile “celebrity” CEOs, and others – run the risk of fixation, stalking, and threats by individuals with various motives. In our consulting work, the question is, how can we identify those who may pose a risk of physical harm to their targets? In this feature, Reid Meloy discusses his important new research in this area.

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Workplace Violence: Practical Considerations for Mental Health Professionals in Consultation, Assessment, and Management of Risk

In the 1980s, a series of shootings by disgruntled US postal workers and other employees focused media attention on acts of violence in the workplace. Over the past 3 decades, researchers have shed light onto the types of violence that occur in the workplace, the characteristics of individuals who engage in workplace violence, and the contextual factors that may escalate or mitigate the risk of violence.

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A Short Treatise on Narcissism: From Normal to Risk for Violence

In the run-up to the recent presidential election, the term “narcissistic” was bandied about aplenty. In everyday language narcissism connotes excessive self-centeredness and personal entitlement, a more or less grandiose, over-the-top view of one’s abilities, an inordinate need for admiration, and especially a big, but easily punctured “ego.”

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The WAVR-21 Third Edition

The revised WAVR-21 V3 features one coding form appropriate for all users in their risk screening or threat assessment roles. The instrument and manual content now address campus as well as workplace contexts. The manual includes a new comprehensive Intake and Documentation Questionnaire, four extensive post-incident analyses of workplace and campus homicide cases, and much updated and new material.

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Autism Spectrum Disorder and Violence: Myths, Facts, and Threat Assessment

Is the presence of autism a red flag for violence risk? Are individuals with autism a subgroup of violent perpetrators? Media reports of sensational mass murders have contributed to the public’s perception of a causal link between autism and violence. The perpetrators of the mass murders at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, Isla Vista-Santa Barbara in 2014, and most recently at Umpqua Community College in Oregon, were all described as having features of autism.

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The Warning Behavior of Identification

Reid Meloy and his colleagues have recently published some significant work on the dark side of “Identification” – a possible correlate and contributor to targeted violence. Here he summarizes this work and what threat assessors should be aware of and look for.

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