Our world has become an ever increasingly violent place. With workplace and school shootings becoming more common place, domestic assaults and shootings on the rise, and physical violence against others being glamorized in movies. our society has seen a great increase in violent actions. Because of this increase of our actions, schools and workplaces have begun to institute policies regarding any allegations of violence. Those policies often involve the requirement for a violence risk assessment to be completed prior to a student or employee returning to the school or work setting. For the past 20 years, I have been conducting violence risk assessments. I have worked with dozens of schools and employers conducting these assessments. Our goal is to offer you and the school or employer a comprehensive, professionally administered assessment that offers a clear understanding of any present risk for future violent action towards others.
What does a violence risk assessment include? There are three main components to violence risk assessments. First, I conduct a detailed one-on-one interview with the individual of concern. You may be a high school student who had a few physical altercations at school. You could be an employee who has had a violent event work. You could have had a domestic assault incident. Regardless of what the incident was, we start with a very detailed psychosocial clinical interview. Second, I administer psychological testing to determine if there are any mental health issues, impulse control issues, aggression problems, or psychosis that would suggest that you are high risk for future violence. When the concern is specifically abuse from adults toward a child, we have specific psychological testing to look for child abuse risk. Third, I review any relevant external documentation. These documents may include police records, mental health or medical records, court records, employment records, or any other relevant records.
If I have a mental health problem does that mean I'm high risk for violence? No. Simply having mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, or schizophrenia does not mean that you are high risk for violence in the future. People can have significant mental health disorders but not be violent. People can be violent and not have any mental health conditions. That is why our assessments do not focus just on whether or not you have a mental health condition. Some of the psychological testing that we use are what we call actuarial violence risk assessment tools. These tools specifically look at your risk for either physical or sexual violence towards others. The scores on those tools are not greatly affected by the existence of any mental health issues.
What if my report says I am high-risk for future violence? Does that mean I can never return to school or to work? No. If after I have completed your assessment it is my clinical opinion that you are high risk for violence in the future, I will lay out a detailed treatment plan of what you can do so that your risk for future violence will decrease. I am a firm believer in the fact that everyone can change. Someone can go from being high-risk for future violence to being low risk for future violence. We are all able to change, improve, and grow as human beings.
At our offices, I do the best I can to treat everybody with respect and dignity. I understand that dealing with allegations that you are high risk for violence can be a very stressful time in your life. Therefore, I do my best to make these assessments as stress-free as possible. I look forward to seeing you.
Questions? Are You Ready to Schedule Your Violence Risk Assessment?
To schedule your appointment with Dr. Lombard, please call our office at (260) 459-2900 or email us at [email protected]. When you call our office, we will need to know what your time frame for completing this review. Dr. Lombard looks forward to working with you.