Assessment of Violent Recidivism and Psychopathy in the Mentally Ill Prison Inmates using VRAG (Violent Risk Assessment Guide) - A Pilot Study in Mysore

Mudassir Azeez Khan, Shreyas Gomedic Ramachandra, Julian Gojer, Anand Reddy, Prashantha Bettappa


Introduction: Psychopathy is associated with criminal behaviors and is linked to violent recidivism. Birth order, family size, educational attainment and substance abuse influence psychopathic traits and it remains to be examined if these factors also have an effect on violent recidivism. VRAG (Violent Risk Appraisal Guide) is an actuarial risk assessment instrument that is intended to estimate violent recidivism in the forensic psychiatric subjects.

Aim: To predict violent recidivism and examine its association with psychopathy and factors such as birth order, educational attainment, sib-size, age of the prison inmate and age at offence in the mentally ill prisoners in an Indian sample in Mysore Central Prison.

Method: The VRAG test was administered on a sample of 15 prisoners who were diagnosed mentally ill. All data were entered into SPSSw18 and analyzed using Pearson correlation test for correlation between variables.

Results: PCL-R (Hare’s Psychopathy Checklist-Revised) score did not show any association with violent recidivism predicted by VRAG instrument. Birth order did have an association with predicted score of violent recidivism (r=−0.608, p=0.036). There was also a correlation between the commissions of non-violent offenses with predicted VRAG scores of violent recidivism (r=0.61, p=0.046). Size of female siblings had a moderating effect on re-offense (r=−0.694, p=0.012). Both educational attainment and sib-size are associated with early criminal violence(r=−0.59, p=0.04 for both). Sib-size is negatively correlated with educational attainment (−0.715, p=0.09).

Conclusion: Earlier born sibling, large family size, lower educational attainment, absence or fewer female siblings is linked to violent recidivism. There was no association with PCL-R score and predicted recidivism using VRAG tool in this study. Although VRAG instruments are validated by some studies in non-Indian setup, to validate the scale in India a longitudinal follow-up of the subjects for violent recidivism is needed.


Violent recidivism, VRAG, Mental disorder, Psychopathy.

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