Preventing violent crime

PreVio - information in engslish

Understanding and preventing violent crime in high-risk individuals – a mixed-methods approach.

The project is a competence and collaboration project (CCP) financed by the Research Council of Norway for the period 2023-2027. The collaborating institutions in the project are the Oslo University Hospital, the University of Oslo, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, the Oslo Police District, and the Correctional Service. The main objective is to contribute updated empirical knowledge about the development of violence risk over time and to identify areas where cooperation between mental health services, police, and correctional services can be strengthened to better prevent violence among severely mentally ill individuals.  

Active collaboration between researchers and practitioners is a recurring characteristic of this project type, aiming to ensure that the generated knowledge meets the needs of practitioners in the field. The project has a broadly composed advisory group consisting of internationally leading researchers in criminology, law, and psychiatric epidemiology, as well as experienced representatives from the involved practice fields.

 

Background

Violence is a significant societal problem in many countries and is considered a global public health challenge. Violence committed by severely mentally ill individuals constitutes a small proportion of total violence. However, it still represents a significant societal challenge, garnering much attention and a need for more effective prevention and better care for both individual patients and the surrounding environment. Police, correctional services, and mental health services share responsibility for preventing violence among individuals with severe mental illness. The three sectors increasingly express that the problems are growing in scope or severity and that there is a failure in coordination and collaboration between the actors. Prisons experience an increasing proportion of mentally ill inmates who harm themselves or others and whom they do not have sufficient resources to manage. The police report an increase in the number of missions related to individuals with severe mental illness and potential for violence, and the proportion of patients sentenced to treatment in specialized health services is increasing. What factors might contribute to such a development? There are several hypotheses about possible causes but little empirical knowledge that can illuminate development over time and show if and how crime and illness development are related. What are early signs of severe courses, and which conditions are protective?

 

Main Goal

The main objective of PreVio is to contribute with updated empirical knowledge about the development of violence risk over time and to identify areas where cooperation between specialized health services, police, and corrections can be strengthened for better prevention of violence among severely mentally ill individuals.

 

Subgoals

  1. Subgoal 1: Examine changes in violent crime over time according to key legislative changes in the Penal Code and the Mental Health Care Act (Work Package 1)
  2. Subgoal 2: Identify subgroups and life course trajectories (Work Package 1)
  3. Subgoal 3: Investigate the effect of sociodemographic and psychological risk and protective factors for violence among individuals with mental illness (Work Package 2)
  4. Subgoal 4: Apply visual methods to the study of single cases to identify relationships between events and situations at the individual level (Work Package 3)
  5. Subgoal 5: Establish cross-sectoral arenas for knowledge exchange and communication (Work Package 4)

 

Implementation 

PreVio employs a multidisciplinary mixed-method approach where quantitative data from two existing datasets are combined with a visual method for qualitative exploration of individual cases. The data sources included in the project are:

  • a population-wide registry linkage (ForenPsych, N ≈ 8 million) with information on severe mental disorders, violent crime, and sociodemographic factors,
  • a clinical dataset (sTOP, N ≈ 200 participants) comprising a range of psychological characteristics and individual risk and protective factors,
  • case-based life history plots from a smaller sample of patients/inmates.

 

Funding 

The project is funded by the Research Council of Norway (SAMRISK-2) (project number 341355) for the period 2023-2027.

Work package 1

Longitudinal trajectories to violent crime.

Work Package in the PreVio project focuses on subgoals 1 and 2:

Objective 1: Investigate changes in violent crime over time according to legislative revisions to the penal code and the mental health law.

Objective 2: Identify subgroups and developmental trajectories through the life course.

Read more here
Statistikk 1

Work package 2

Sociodemographic and psychological risk and protective factors for violence among individuals with mental illness.

Work Package 2 in the PreVio project focuses on goal 3:

Investigate the effect of sociodemographic and psychological risk and protective factors for violence among individuals with mental illness.

Read more here
Statistikk

Work package 3

Life history plots - linking situations and events at the individual level.

Work Package 3 in the PreVio project focuses on subgoal 4:

Applying visual methods to study individual cases and identify connections between events and situations at the individual level

Read more here
Staistikk

Work package 4

Cross-disciplinary collaborative knowledge exchange.

Work Package 4 in the PreVio project focuses on goal 5:

Establishing cross-sectoral arenas for knowledge exchange and communication.

Read more here
Statistikk

Project participants

OSLO UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL
Christine Friestad
Jaroslav Rokicki
Laoura Ziaka
Esben Heilskov
Ruth Vieler

NORWEGIAN INSTITUTON OF PUBLIC HEALTH (NIPH)
Martin Steen Tesli

UNIVERSITY OF OSLO
Unn Kristin Haukvik

NORWEGIAN CORRECTIONAL SERVICES
Egil-Ivar Gabrielsen (Trondheim fengsel)
Tonje Sandal (Ila fengsles- og forvaringsanstalt) 
Doris Bakken (Bredtveit fengsels- og forvaringsanstalt) 

POLICE
Kjetil Denvik

NATIONAL OG INTERNATIONAL PARTNERS
Suraj Tapa, Head of reseach at the Department of Mental Health and Addiction, Oslo universitetssykehus HF
Avdelingsdirektør Heidi Bottolfs, Kriminalomsorgsdirektoratet
Seksjonsleder Pål-Gunnar Førsund, Oslo politidistrikt
Fag- og kvalitetsleder Cecilie Bhandari Hartberg, Klinikk PHA, Oslo universitetssykehus HF
Professor Linda Gröning, Universitetet i Bergen
Professor Torbjørn Skardhamar, Universitetet i Oslo
Professor Seena Fazel, University of Oxford (UK)
Professor Giovanni de Girolamo, University of Milan (Italy)
Seniorforsker Danielle Arlanda Harris, Griffith University (Australia)
Professor Birgit Völlm, University of Rostock (Germany)

Sist oppdatert 22.03.2024