Structured Assessment of Protective Factors for violence risk
Background information


The SAPROF is a violence risk assessment tool specifically developed for the assessment of protective factors for adult offenders. The tool was intended to be used in addition to risk focused Structured Professional Judgment assessment tools, such as the HCR-20 or the HCR-20V3 (for more information click here), but can also be used together with actuarial tools. Following the SPJ approach, the SAPROF concludes with an overall judgment of the level of available protection in the assessed context. The SAPROF assessment is suitable for people with violent offending histories as well as for people who have previously sexually offended.

The tool was developed in the Van der Hoeven Kliniek (a forensic psychiatric hospital in The Netherlands) in cooperation with the Pompe Kliniek and the University of Maastricht.

The SAPROF can also be used with female offenders, however the empirical evidence is not as strong. In the future the authors may decide to develop a female addition to the SAPROF manual, like has been done for the HCR-20 / HCR-20V3 with the Female Additional Manual (FAM; De Vogel, De Vries Robbé, Van Kalmthout & Place, 2011).

The SAPROF contains 17 protective factors organized into three scales. 15 of the factors are dynamic, making the factors valuable treatment targets and treatment evaluation measures. After coding the 17 items on a three-point scale (0-2) or seven-point scale (adding +/- for clinical utility and more dynamic measurement of change), the assessor is asked to point out those items which are the most important protective factors for the assessed individual in his or her specific situation: Key-items (those items deemed the strongest protectors against violence risk in the assessed context) and Goal-items (those items deemed the most important targets for current treatment). Click here for the coding sheet, which provides an overview of the protective factors in the SAPROF.

For more information on the SAPROF see the SAPROF flyer (for other languages see Translations), SAPROF general background information and the SAPROF factsheet.

In 2012 the 2nd Edition of the SAPROF manual was published, click for more information.

For information on the development of the SAPROF - Youth Version click here.

Update regarding the clinical use of the SAPROF (January 2016). Given the empirical base to date regarding the SAPROF, we feel confident the caution statement on p. 21 of the SAPROF manual should now be revised into: "Given the strong empirical findings regarding the psychometric properties of the SAPROF, in particular its interrater reliability, predictive validity for desistance in those with violent as well as those with sexual offending histories, and the demonstrated relation between improvements on protective factors and recidivism reduction, the SAPROF may be used as a risk-assessment and treatment guidance tool in clinical practice as well as in research."