Forensic psychological public safety risk assessment integrated with culturally responsive treatment for juvenile fire setters: Dsm-5 implications

Ronn Johnson, Heidi Beckenbach, Samantha Kilbourne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


This paper aims to present an overview of a variety of risk assessment issues that are of particular relevance for work with juvenile fire setters in clinical and forensic settings. The paper seeks to consider Juvenile Fire Setting (JFS)-Youthful Misuse of Fire (YMF) across a broad array of clinical domains, including developmental, prognostic, and the diagnostic utility anticipated by using the DSM-5. National standards and risk assessment levels are to be examined. The paper includes a comprehensive review of the research and practices related to juvenile fire setters. This review included assessment and intervention resources that are used in diverse practice environments. The authors reviewed the literature to establish a nexus between risk assessment and community-based interventions which were illustrated by a nationally recognized YMF mental health program (FATJAM). The paper provides empirically-based insights into key issues for working with these forensic cases. It offers discussion regarding diagnostic issues that are relevant to the DSM-5. Because of the conceptual or theoretical approach used, the research basis for generalizations is restricted to the practice-based analyses provided by the authors. Therefore, practitioners and researchers are urged to further test the observations and conclusions presented. This paper is unique in that it increases the knowledge base related to the diagnostic applications with the DSM-5, as well as evidence-based interventions for JFS as it pertains to public safety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-64
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Criminal Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 15 2013
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Law

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