Violence risk profile of medium- and high-security NGRI offenders in Belgium

Thierry Pham, Petra Habets, Xavier Saloppé*, Claire Ducro, Benjamin Delaunoit, Claudia Pouls, Inge Jeandarme

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Under Belgian law, offenders not guilty by reason of insanity (NGRI) are committed by the courts to forensic mental health treatment. The use of violence risk assessment tools has become routine in these settings. However, there are no national statistics regarding violence risk assessment in the Belgian forensic population. A study was undertaken to collect risk assessment data (PCL-R, VRAG, HCR-20) on a large cohort of forensic patients committed to Medium Security units in the Flanders region and in High-Security units in the Walloon region. Flemish patients were expected to present a lower risk compared with their Walloon counterparts. Instead, data yielded by a structured risk assessment method demonstrate the opposite. Moreover, the majority of patients in Flemish facilities had committed violent offenses and were institutionalized for shorter periods whereas the majority of Walloon patients had committed sexual offenses and were institutionalized for markedly longer periods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)530-550
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Forensic psychiatry
  • NGRI offenders
  • violence risk profile


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