Violent Behavior in Institutions


Various studies reveal that grave antisocial behavior, as well as violence in the US, has tremendously reduced (James & Gilliland, n.d). This treatise seeks to analyze the precipitating factors, staff, and institutional culpability, dynamics of violence in human service settings, intervention strategies, and rational strategies aimed at ensuring a successful follow-up of victims of violence.

Precipitating Factors

Deinstitutionalization/lack of imperative facilities

According to James, Gilliland, and James (n.d), lack of sufficient facilities, staff, and failure of medical professionals to follow up on their patients play a major role in increasing the rate of violence in the US.

Mental Illness

Mental illnesses lead to hallucinations, aggressive fantasies, and delusions; hence, mentally ill patients are likely to be violent. Moreover, mental disorders are likely to aggravate the probability of engaging in aggressive behavior since such people are unable to control their emotions (James & Gilliland, n.d).


Research shows that the number of women engaging in violent acts is increasing tremendously as they are highly likely to assault staff in a locked inpatient setting. Some of the major causes of such increase among women include depression caused by economic instability, drug and alcohol abuse (James & Gilliland, n.d).

Required Reporting

Most victims fail to report violent incidences because of the fear of being ridiculed, embarrassed, threatened, or attacked. In this case, criminals are likely to go get away with their crimes; thus, increasing their likelihood of attacking more people. Moreover, domestic violence laws have made human service workers highly reliable; hence, they are likely to be victims of violent acts (James & Gilliland, n.d).

Institutional Culpability

Two main factors that indicate institutional culpability are those related to the fact that there is unrestricted movement in the various institutions, as well as minimal security to help staff members in case they are attacked. Another institutional culpability is denial whereby, institutions fail to admit that incidences of violence indeed occur. Finally, there is minimal security since persons trained to handle other responsibilities such as logistical and financial functions lack the necessary training to offer a secure environment (James & Gilliland, n.d).

Staff Culpability

Staff members are culpable, well-intentioned, and caring. With this, their clients are likely to work against them. Clients are likely to act violently in situations where they feel that they have little control over their health or treatment. Scholars also allege that overworked staff members are likely to be assaulted, for instance, trainees and students, account for 46% of all assaults (James & Gilliland, n.d).

Dynamic of Violence in Human Service Settings

According to James & Gilliland (n.d), violent crimes in the US have been reduced. This is based on the report that out of 13,636 cases that were reported in the year 2009, only 10 occurred within human service institutions. It is argued that most of the cases related to violence comprise nonfatal incidences. 48% of these incidences are in the social and health care services sector. Additionally, among the mental health workers, the rate of assaults was roughly 68.2%. In that case, statistics reveal that the number of violent crimes has reduced since 1996 among human service workers.

Intervention Strategies

Security planning

The top management should come up with antiviolence programs to help in reducing cases of violence. This means that all stakeholders should work together and prioritize issues related to security without fail (James & Gilliland n.d).

Worksite Analysis

This involves coming up with a strategic approach to address some of the possible risks related to violence. This means that the management should focus on areas where such hazards are likely to occur and follow the right procedures to curb acts of aggressiveness (James, 2007).

Involvement and Commitment

Institutions should be fully committed to coming up with sound precautions to guarantee the safety of staff and clients. In that case, the employees and management should ensure that a policy against violence among providers and clients is put in place (James & Gilliland n.d).

Hazard Control and Prevention

Institutions should have a comprehensive security and hazard prevention plan. The plan should detail persons responsible for ensuring security as well as procedures that ought to be followed. This will help in reducing expenses emanating from negative publicity and lawsuits (James & Gilliland n.d).

Program Evaluation and Record-Keeping

There should be proper recording of reported incidences and regular evaluation of the security program to ensure that it is working as required. Additionally, regular recorded conferences should be held to help in identifying violent persons, and ways through which safety can be enhanced (James & Gilliland n.d).


The management should ensure that its staff is well trained on how to handle violent clients. In that case, money should be set aside to train employees on how to handle cases of violence, and on how they can help aggressive clients (James, 2007).

Follow up with Victims

Institutions should ensure that victims of violence are counseled and offered the right training to handle similar cases in the future. Additionally, the management should also develop programs to help respond to violence in the institutions and facilitate, prompt recovery of the victims (Ochberg, 2013; James 2007).


James, R. & Gilliland, B. (n.d). Crisis Intervention Strategies. Kentucky: Cengage Learning.

James, R. (2007). Crisis Intervention Strategies. New York: Wadsworth.

Ochberg, F. (2013). Post-Traumatic Therapy and Victims of Violence. New York: Routledge.

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