Review # 5

Assessment Tools/Procedures of Violent Radicalization

Risk assessment of crime and violence has positioned itself as a cornerstone of modern correctional practices, as it enables reliable and valid estimates of the risk that individuals pose for society, based on their personal characteristics and social environment. Since the 1980s, risk assessment tools have been widely used by North American and European social science professionals in order to structure the important case-management decisions that they are routinely required to make. Unsurprisingly, such tools/procedures have been developed to screen the risk of becoming involved in a trajectory towards violent radicalization, or towards committing terrorist acts.

However, there have been few efforts to integrate findings of their reliability, validity, and benefits/harms for society and the assessee. Thus, the fifth CPN-PREV systematic review will look into the following questions:

  • Reliability: Do these tools/procedures produce similar results when different professionals assess the same case (inter-rater agreement)? Do they produce similar results when the same case is assessed at different times (test-retest reliability)? Are they internally consistent?
  • Validity: Do these tools/procedures measure the phenomenon that they are supposed to measure? Do they predict the expected outcomes (predictive validity)? Do they fit with other similar measures from the same field (convergent validity)?
  • What are the benefits/harms of these tools/procedures for public safety and for the assessee? Do the benefits outweigh the potential harms (e.g., stigmatization)?

The review will integrate evidence on tools and procedures designed to assess the risk of violent radicalization. It will also reflect on their transferability and applicability to the Canadian context by taking into consideration community-related implementation issues and costs.