Working with violent offenders can be professionally exciting, offering real opportunities to understand, and potentially change, complex human behaviours. At the same time, work with violent offenders can be daunting. It carries with it an associated responsibility to protect the public from harm, in a culture that is increasingly risk focused, where that responsibility is carried out in a changing and pressured organisational context. This challenge is increased because violent offending is so diverse. Criminal violence is not generally an isolated and distinct form of criminal behaviour. This chapter provides practitioners with an understanding of the range of violent behaviours and how they are developed and supported by social processes. It looks at some specific areas: alcohol and violence, women and violence, domestic violence, and racially motivated offending. The chapter then looks at how best to intervene and engage with a violent offender and how to manage the worker-offender relationship.
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