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Violence risk assessment has been used in forensic practice in the Netherlands for close to 20 years. Poland is only beginning to look at the violence risk assessment tools in this context. During the seminar, organized by SWPS University’s Department of Forensic Psychology in Katowice, our guests from the NetherlandsProfessor Vivienne de Vogel and Professor Kasia Uziębło – will share their experience and best practices developed over many years of working with the risk assessment tool. Additionally, we will also discuss the Polish psychiatric, legal and forensic context and potential implementation of the risk assessment tools in the country.

Language of the seminar: English. Online platform: Zoom.

Registration required. Number of places is limited. Approved participants will receive registration confirmation and a link to the webinar by email.

June 4
09:00 - 15:00 CEST (UTC+2)

Violence Risk Assessment in Forensic Psychiatry Patient Groups: Dutch and Polish Experience

The goal of the seminar is to exchange information and share best practices among Polish and Dutch experts specializing in violence risk assessment for judiciary purposes and in forensic psychiatry practice. One of the most world-renowned centers specializing in violence risk assessment is Van der Hoeven Kliniek in the Netherlands, which has a proven track record in the development of the method and research on violence risk assessment. A structured violence risk assessment has been a part of the daily practice at the clnicl for close to 20 years. In Poland, on the other hand, the process of implementing violence risk assessment in forensic psychology is in early stages.

During the first part of the seminar, drawing on their long experience, our guest speakers – Professor Vivienne de Vogel and Professor Kasia Uziębło from the Netherlands – will present the fundamentals of the structured violence risk assessment process and will confront it with erroneous beliefs on the subject, prevalent among specialists in the field. Our guests will also talk about the latest research conducted using the violence risk assessment tools and their implications for clinical practice. Professor de Vogel and Professor Uziębło will also share best practices related to the implementation of the violence risk assessment process.

The second part of the seminar will focus on the analysis of the Polish forensic psychology in relation to Dutch experience. Invited experts from renowned research and clinical centers in Poland, representing the fields of law, psychiatry and psychology, will talk about the Polish system of preventive measures and will present the characterization of patient population in Polish forensic psychiatry wards. We will also discuss the implications of the current legal regulations for the implementation of violence assessment tools and daily forensic practice, including collaboration between psychologists and psychiatrists.

The seminar is addressed to experts in forensic and penitentiary psychiatry and psychology, law, and anyone interested in the violence risk assessment for legal and forensic purposes.

The goal of the seminar is to exchange information and share best practices among Polish and Dutch experts specializing in violence risk assessment for judiciary purposes and in forensic psychiatry practice.



9:00 - 12:00 Part 1

Risk Assessment: The What and The Why – Kasia Uzieblo, Senior researcher at the Forensic Care Specialists, Utrecht, the Netherlands and  Associate Professor in Forensic and Criminological Psychology at the Free University Brussels, Brussels, Belgium

The importance of violence risk assessment in psychiatric practice has only grown in recent decades. Risk assessment tools are now applied worldwide to improve decision-making within the legal context and forensic mental health care. However, there are still many misconceptions about risk assessment and what it entails, therefore there is still some resistance among practitioners to implementing these tools in practice. In her presentation Professor Uziębło will discuss the most common misconceptions related to risk assessment. Firstly, she will elaborate on the importance of risk assessment, using the Risk Need Responsivity model, one of the most important treatment frameworks within the forensic field, as her starting point. Next, she will present three most common approaches to risk assessment. Finally, Professor Uziębło will discuss examples of what may go wrong with a risk assessment in practice and what lessons can be learnt from such cases.

Violence risk assessment in Dutch routine clinical forensic practice: Towards more balance and refinement – Vivienne de Vogel, Senior researcher at the Forensic Care Specialists, Utrecht, the Netherlands and Professor at the University of Applied Science Utrecht, Research Centre for Social Innovation

In the Netherlands, the use of a structured violence risk assessment in forensic mental health care became mandatory in 2005. In her presentation, Professor de Vogel will share how risk assessment is implemented and used in a Dutch forensic psychiatric hospital, the Van der Hoeven Kliniek, where the risk assessment approach was implemented in 2001, and since then several new tools have been developed (e.g., SAPROF for the assessment of protective factors and FAM for violence risk assessment in women) and where multiple studies have been conducted. Professor de Vogel will also summarize recent research results on the HCR-20 Version 3, FAM and SAPROF. Moreover, Professor de Vogel, using a clinical case study of a female forensic psychiatric patient, will illustrate the importance of using the risk assessment guidelines for forensic treatment and risk management. Finally, she will provide practical guidelines for implementing and conducting violence risk assessment in routine clinical practice.

12:00 - 13:00 Lunch break

13:00 - 15:00 Part 2

Forensic psychiatry system in Poland: Problems and challenges  Inga Markiewicz, M.A., Research assistant - psychologist, lawyer, Forensic Psychiatry Clinic, Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology, Warsaw

How much, when, to whom? A brief statistical picture of the application of preventive measures in Poland – Małgorzata Pyrcak-Górowska, Doctor of Law, advocate, Department of Criminal Law at the Faculty of Law and Administration of the Jagiellonian University

The benefits and problems after the implementation of the violence risk assessment measures: Case study – Agnieszka Welento-Nowacka, M.D. Psychiatrist, Violence Risk Assessment and Management Specialist, Head Physician at a low security forensic psychiatric ward, 
Co-author of the Polish translation of HCR-20V3and SAPROF

Panel discussion with the invited guests and experts.

Keynote Speakers

Vivienne de Vogel



Vivienne de Vogel, Ph.D. – is a professor at the University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, Research Centre for Social Innovation. Furthermore, she works at the Research department of De Forensische Zorgspecialisten, a Dutch forensic psychiatric center. Her research interests include forensic care, gender issues, violence risk assessment as well as management, psychopathy, victimization, and working alliance.

Kasia Uzieblo.Foto: Olivier Middendorp



Kasia Uziębło, Ph.D. – is a senior researcher at the research department of the Forensic Care Specialists unit of the Van der Hoeven Kliniek, in Utrecht, the Netherlands, and Assistant Professor in forensic and criminological psychology at the Department of Criminology of the Free University Brussels, Belgium. Her research focuses on the interpersonal behaviors in psychopathic individuals and the treatment of psychopathic patients, the characteristics and underlying dynamics of sexual and domestic violence, and the use(fulness) of assessment instruments for judicial purposes, including risk assessment. She has published various articles in scientific and professional journals as well as book chapters on the aforementioned topics.

Photo: Olivier Middendorp


The seminar is part of a research project “The role of risk and protective factors in assessing and monitoring the probability of committing criminal offences by offenders detained for treatment and incarcerated persons”, conducted by the Department of Forensic Psychology at SWPS University, financed by the National Science Centre (OPUS 15 grant, no. 2018/29/B/HS5/00474).

Date and Location 

Friday, June 4, 2021, online


Marlena Banasik, Lecturer at SWPS Universtiy in Katowice
e-mail: mbanasik@swps.edu.pl


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