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Is It Possible to Assess Risk?

Sandra Walklate
Risk Management
Vol. 1, No. 4 (1999), pp. 45-53
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3867867
Page Count: 9
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Is It Possible to Assess Risk?
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Abstract

Risk assessment has increasingly become part of the work which criminal justice professionals are expected to engage in. This paper is concerned to address some of the assumptions that underpin the process of assessing risk within the criminal justice system. It will argue that whilst predominance is given to the possibilities of engaging in both clinical and actuarial risk assessment, those possibilities are severely restricting and restricted. Such restrictions are the product of the extent to which positivist conceptions of science have pervaded criminology and criminal justice practice in this arena of decision-making, at the expense of other possibilities. It will suggest that only when the role of intuition is acknowledged as part of such a decision-making process will it be possible to offer a more realistic approach to risk assessment.

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