John Monahan

The Classification of Violence Risk

CO-AUTHORS Paul S. Appelbaum, Steven Banks, Thomas Grisso, Edward P. Mulvey, Pamela Clark Robbins, Loren H. Roth, Eric Silver, and Henry J. Steadman
Behavioral Sciences & the Law


The Classification of Violence Risk (COVR) is an interactive software program designed to estimate the risk that a person hospitalized for mental disorder will be violent to others. The software leads the evaluator through a chart review and a brief interview with the patient. At the end of this interview, the software generates a report that contains a statistically valid estimate of the patient's violence risk-ranging from a 1% to a 76% likelihood of violence-including the confidence interval for that estimate, and a list of the risk factors that the program took into account to produce the estimate. In this article, the development of the COVR software is described and several issues that arise in its administration are discussed.


Paul S. Appelbaum et al., The Classification of Violence Risk, 24 Behavioral Sciences & the Law 721-730 (2006).

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