360 Degree Threat Assessment
Preventive Threat Assessment for the Client
The purpose of threat assessment and management is to identify, assess, and mitigate risk of targeted (intended) violence toward the client. Threat assessment focuses on behavioral facts which may be dynamically changing in real time to determine which individuals pose a risk of targeted violence. It is distinctive in many ways from traditional violence risk assessment, which is a more general and static approach to determine violence risk. Since its inception threat assessment has been successfully utilized in a number of risk domains, including stalking, public figure approaches and attacks, workplace violence, school violence, university violence, lone actor terrorism, and adolescent and adult mass murder. The threat assessment model is being utilized by a number of private and public individuals, universities and corporations, and local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies in many countries to address the risk of targeted violence.
The narrative thread and principle that runs through all of our threat assessment and management work is that prevention does not require specific prediction. A medical analogy is useful: a cardiologist cannot identify which of her patients will have a cardiovascular event (for example, a heart attack or stroke), but does know general risk factors for such events: high blood pressure, poor diet, no exercise, alcohol and tobacco, genetic factors, etc. By identifying and managing those risk factors, the frequency of such events needing an emergency medical response is greatly decreased among all her patients. Yet if we then ask the cardiologist five years later, what kind of cardiac event would have occurred in a particular patient if you had done nothing, she cannot tell us—but many people have been helped. This is primary prevention. This is 360 degree threat assessment and management. Prevention does not require specific prediction.