THE MAGAZINE

Violence Assessment and Intervention: The Practitioner’s Handbook, Second Edition.

By James S. Cawood, CPP, and Michael H. Corcoran; Reviewed by Jack F. Dowling, CPP

***** Violence Assessment and Intervention: The Practitioner’s Handbook, Second Edition. By James S. Cawood, CPP, PCI, PSP, and Michael H. Corcoran; published by CRC Press; available from ASIS, item #1857, 703/519-6200, www.asisonline.org; 392 pages; $90 (ASIS members), $99 (nonmembers).

Amid recent years’ high-profile episodes of workplace violence and active-shooter incidents, this thorough text provides information that can help any entity—public or private—develop a program for handling individuals who pose potential threats.
 
The authors bring a breadth of experience from both law enforcement and private security viewpoints, with James Cawood’s corporate security background and Michael Corcoran’s police and federal government affiliations.
 
This book is divided into three sections that together cover seven steps for violence assessment and intervention: intake, notification, assessment, security, legal, intervention, and monitoring. The section on assessment, for example, contains chapters devoted to information collection and assessments. Each chapter also offers tools and forms for interviews, questions to ask, and a log/checklist.
 
The section on management provides detailed case studies, one of which addresses the April 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech. Additionally, this section provides information about violence-assessment team actions along with various federal and state criminal laws, civil liability issues, and ethical considerations. Although the emphasis on security measures was limited to only one chapter, the information was nevertheless useful and highlighted the perception of security by both the victim and “instigator.”
 
Of particular importance, the authors make a suggestion concerning the creation of a violence prevention team. Since Virginia Tech, colleges and universities have emphasized the value of these groups in a proactive approach to reducing violence on campus. The recommended primary members of the team are a leader, attorney, and a representative from senior administration. Optional members include representatives from security, a violence-assessment professional, an employee-assistance program representative, and a media representative. Each member’s duties and responsibilities are delineated in the text.
 
The textbook flows logically and smoothly through the numerous topics related to the assessment and evaluation stages and explains the various concepts in simple terms. It provides a wealth of critical practical knowledge and could be used by a security professional as a handy reference, or by those on threat-assessment teams as a guide for handling cases.
 

Reviewer: Jack F. Dowling, CPP, PSP, is president of JD Security Consultants, LLC, in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. He teaches in the Criminal Justice Administration Program at the University of Phoenix and is a member of the ASIS International Commercial Real Estate Council and a former member of its Facilities Physical Security Measures Guideline Committee.

 

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