Behavioral Threat Assessment is a process by which a multidisciplinary team focused on preventing violence through identification and evaluation of persons who communicate or act with potential intent to harm others. The process involves assessing multiple risk factors as well as managing and mitigating violence potential. A threat assessment team then provides recommendations for an individualized intervention plan.
Threat assessment is used throughout educational, government, and private sectors. Educational threat assessment teams and models began to become increasingly utilized following the 1999 Columbine School Shooting and 2007 Virginia Tech Shooting. Since then, K-12 school districts and institutes of higher education have been developing threat assessment teams to reduce the threat of violence.
Although threat assessment as a profession has been in existence for nearly 30 years, it has only recently been a focus in educational institutions since the early 2000s. The Journal of Threat Assessment and Management (JTAM), a scientific journal offered through the American Psychological Association was only recently established in 2014. The journal is an applied journal with a strong focus on the development, implementation, and evaluation of procedures for assessing and managing violence risk.