‘Common Law’: Predicting Violence

Professor John Monahan Discusses How Science of Predicting Violence Developed in Courts and in His Career
Common Law with Risa Goluboff, Greg Mitchell and John Monahan

This episode of “Common Law” is hosted by Dean Risa Goluboff and Professor Greg Mitchell, and features Professor John Monahan. Photos by Ian Bradshaw, Tom Cogill, Julia Davis and iStock, illustration by Warren Craghead


July 7, 2022

In the seminal 1972 California Supreme Court case that ordered clinicians to warn police about violent patients, the justices cited psychologist John Monahan, now a professor at the University of Virginia School of Law.

The case, Tarasoff v. Regents, rippled across the nation and shaped the trajectory of Monahan’s career. He joins “Common Law,” the UVA Law podcast, to discuss how violence risk assessment became a tool used by courtrooms and clinicians across the country, and his own work in the field of law and psychology.

In the episode, hosted by Dean Risa Goluboff and Professor Greg Mitchell, who is also a psychologist, Monahan talks about his landmark projects on risk assessment and mental health for the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; his book “Social Science in Law,” co-authored with Laurens Walker; and other key points in his career.

Monahan, who is considered a leading thinker on the issue of violence risk assessment, is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was the founding president of the American Psychological Association’s Division of Psychology and Law and has been a fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences.

Common Law · S4 E12: Predicting Violence

The show’s fourth season, called “Co-Counsel,” features a rotating set of co-hosts: Mitchell, Danielle Citron, John Harrison and Cathy Hwang. Each is joining Goluboff to discuss cutting-edge research on law topics of their choice.

“Common Law” is available on Apple PodcastsStitcherYouTubeSpotify and other popular podcast sources. The show is produced by Emily Richardson-Lorente.

Past seasons have focused on “The Future of Law,” “When Law Changed the World” and “Law and Equity.”

You can follow the show on the website CommonLawPodcast.com or Twitter at @CommonLawUVA.

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