Culture, colonization, and community: Rethinking the cultural problems with risk assessment

Prof. Douglas Boer1, Dr. Armon Tamatea2

1University of Canberra, Canberra, Australia, 2University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand

Recent events across the globe have highlighted the invisible voices and experiences of racial and gender minority groups that has had a significant impact on policies and practices in health, education, and even the sports arena. Further, each of these groups reflects histories of oppression and marginalisation that have been legitimised to one degree or another within various psychology practices. A critical example within correctional and forensic psychology concerns risk assessment. We argue that risk assessment is not about statistical accuracy or even clinical decision-making, but rather social justice. Examples of risk assessment design practices and principles with Indigenous peoples will be discussed along with the role of the community in determining priorities for research and practice.


Douglas Boer is Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Canberra.

Armon Tamatea is Senior Lecturer of Clinical Psychology at the University of Waikato

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