Dr. Robert Hare Honoured

January 9, 2007
by Teal Maedel, Psychologist, Vancouver Area Community Corrections and
Lak Sehmbi, Parole Officer, Vancouver Area Community Corrections

Recently, the Vancouver Area Parole District hosted the second annual Police/Parole Contact Event, the purpose of which is to increase interdepartmental communication between agencies in the criminal justice system. This year’s event honoured Dr. Robert Hare’s contributions to risk assessment throughout the criminal justice system. Also featured was the launch of Hare’s new book Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go To Work, published by Harper Collins, which was available for sale.

Teal Maedel, past chair of the National Joint Committee on Senior Justice Officials (NJC), Pacific Region, took on the role of master of ceremonies. Gregory Fitch, Pacific Region NJC Chair, highlighted the goals and achievements of the NJC in the Pacific Region and addressed the benefits of the Psychopathy Checklist to the Crown and the court system. Other speakers included representatives of BC Corrections, the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC), RCMP and the Vancouver Police Department.

CSC Deputy Commissioner Don Demers spoke about Robert Hare’s contributions to risk assessment and presented him with a certificate of appreciation from the Service. Vancouver Police Department Chief Constable Jamie Graham provided comments supporting the work of the NJC and thanked Hare for his contributions. David Wilmott, High-Risk Offender Analyst with BC Corrections spoke about the contributions of Hare’s tools to risk assessment in the provincial correctional system. Staff Sergeant Matt Logan and Inspector Keith Davidson, Behavioural Sciences Unit, attended in red serge and made a special presentation to Dr. Hare on behalf of the RCMP.

As keynote speaker, Robert Hare described the formulation of the Psychopathy Checklist and current research and usage. Both Robert and his wife, Averil, expressed their appreciation and gratitude to the organizers. Averil noted that Robert has been touched by the support and recognition he has received in his immediate community. Several friends, family and university colleagues of Hare attended and Dr. Hare commented that this event was the highlight of his career.

The evening ceremonies, that attracted approximately 200 participants, were co-sponsored by the National Joint Committee on Senior Justice Officials, the Correctional Service of Canada, the British Columbia Association of Chiefs of Police, Police Services, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. New contacts were established and, of course, existing alliances were strengthened.

Many thanks to the organizing committee and volunteers who helped make this a very successful evening.