Recommended Reading

BIT/CARE Team Development Checklist

BIT/CARE Team Development Checklist

D-Prep and InterACTT

Use this checklist when developing and assessing your BIT/CARE team process and procedures.

Black Box Thinking: The Surprising Truth About Success

Black Box Thinking: The Surprising Truth About Success

Matthew Syed

Using a cornucopia of interviews, gripping stories, and sharp-edged science, Syed explores the intimate relationship between failure and success, and shows why we need to transport black box thinking into our own lives. If we wish to unleash our potential, we must diagnose and break free of our failures. Part manifesto for change, part intellectual adventure, this groundbreaking book reveals how to do both.

Referral Checklist and Service Audit

Referral Checklist and Service Audit

D-Prep and InterACTT

Interventions created by BIT/CARE teams or case management should be designed to ensure a high likelihood of follow through and buy-in from those being offered the intervention. Providers should manage the ongoing nature of helping another person through a difficult time and should consider the ease of access when considering referrals to services.

The Logic Of Failure: Recognizing And Avoiding Error In Complex Situations

The Logic Of Failure: Recognizing And Avoiding Error In Complex Situations

Dietrich Dorner

Why do we make mistakes? Are there certain errors common to failure, whether in a complex enterprise or daily life? In this truly indispensable book, Dietrich Derner identifies what he calls the "logic of failure" -- certain tendencies in our patterns of thought that, while appropriate to an older, simpler world, prove disastrous for the complex world we live in now. Working with imaginative and often hilarious computer simulations, he analyzes the roots of catastrophe, showing city planners in the very act of creating gridlock and disaster, or public health authorities setting the scene for starvation.

Website and Social Media Search Terms

Website and Social Media Search Terms

Dr. Brian Van Brunt and Dr. Peter Langman

Two issues of importance for Behavioral Intervention and Threat Assessment Teams are the accessibility of the BIT/TAT site on the college website and what keywords to search for on social media in conjunction with the school name to get out ahead of potential threats. This article offers some suggestions to increase visibility and access to the BIT/TAT website and identify potential concerns by combing through social media for threatening language.

Back to School Safety Preparation

Back to School Safety Preparation

D-Prep

Taken from our MERIT Active Training Program, these suggestions will help keep your campus safe in the event of an emergency.

Beyond Initial Response: Using the National Incident Management System Incident Command System

Beyond Initial Response: Using the National Incident Management System Incident Command System

Tim Deal

Responders have to be ready to carry out their Incident Command System position-specific responsibilities and to be effective they have to know how to operate as part of an ICS organization. This book provides readers the confidence, knowledge and assurance that are required to successfully play as part of an incident management team.

Catastrophe and Social Change: Based Upon a Sociological Study of the Halifax Disaster

Catastrophe and Social Change: Based Upon a Sociological Study of the Halifax Disaster

Samuel Henry Prince

This book offers an observational study of the social impact caused by the Halifax disaster, where 1,782 people were killed in an explosion on a cargo ship, and the relief efforts following the event. In it, Prince follows the event from the nature of the catastrophe, through the disintegration of social order, and ending with the rebuilding of the effected communities.

Creating a Logistics Resource Binder for Your K-12 School

Creating a Logistics Resource Binder for Your K-12 School

D-Prep

In the event of a disaster, you will need obtain the resources and services the
school community will need in the immediate aftermath of the event. This helpful guide will give you guidance and advice in setting up your school's logistics binder.

Disasters by Design: A Reassessment of Natural Hazards in the United States

Disasters by Design: A Reassessment of Natural Hazards in the United States

Dennis S. Mileti

Disasters by Design provides an alternative and sustainable way to view, study, and manage hazards in the United States that would result in disaster-resilient communities, higher environmental quality, inter- and intragenerational equity, economic sustainability, and improved quality of life as well as an overview of what is known about natural hazards, disasters, recovery, and mitigation.

Full-Rip 9.0: The Next Big Earthquake in the Pacific Northwest

Full-Rip 9.0: The Next Big Earthquake in the Pacific Northwest

Sandi Doughton

Meet the scientists who are dedicated to understanding the way the earth moves and what patterns can be identified and how prepared (or not) people are. With a 100% chance of a mega-quake hitting the Pacific Northwest, this fascinating book reports on the scientists who are trying to understand when, where, and just how big The Big One will be.

Left of Bang: How the Marine Corps’ Combat Hunter Program Can Save Your Life

Left of Bang: How the Marine Corps’ Combat Hunter Program Can Save Your Life

Patrick Van Horne, Jason Riley, & Shawn Coyne

Is there a way to listen to your inner protector more and to increase your sensitivity to threats before they happen? General James Mattis asked this question and issued a directive to operationalize the Marine Corps’ Combat Hunter program, a comprehensive and no-nonsense approach to heightening each and every one of our gifts of fear.

School Safety Best Practices

School Safety Best Practices

Pikmykid with Dr. Brian Van Brunt, Pat Bhava, and Jeff Solomon

Pikmykid invited three experts to offer their insights and strategies in a panel discussion. Discover the following featured highlights of what Jeff Solomon, National Director of Safety at D-Prep, Dr. Brian Van Brunt, Deputy Director of Safety at D-Prep, and Pat Bhava, CEO of Pikmykid consider school safety best practices and how you can implement them starting… today!

The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right

The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right

Atul Gawande

Gawande shows what the simple idea of the checklist reveals about the complexity of our lives and how we can deal with it. He examines checklists in aviation, construction, and investing, but focuses on medicine, where checklists mandating simple measures like hand washing have dramatically reduced hospital-caused infections and other complications.

The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals that Protect Us from Violence

The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals that Protect Us from Violence

Gavin de Becker

De Becker offers specific ways to protect yourself and those you love, including how to act when approached by a stranger, when you should fear someone close to you, what to do if you are being stalked, how to uncover the source of anonymous threats or phone calls, the biggest mistake you can make with a threatening person, and more.

The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes — and Why

The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes — and Why

Amanda Ripley

By combining the stories of survivors with research into how the brain works under extreme duress, this inspiring mix of narrative, science and participatory journalism reveals how human fear circuits and crowd dynamics work, why our instincts sometimes misfire in modern calamities, and how we can do much, much better.

Averting Targeted School Violence: A U.S. Secret Service Analysis of Plots against schools

Averting Targeted School Violence: A U.S. Secret Service Analysis of Plots against schools

National Threat Assessment Center (NTAC)

Understanding cases of averted violence allows officials and researchers the ability to study where violence reduction principles worked and stopped an attack from moving from idea to action. This study included 67 averted attacks occurring from 2006 to 2018. The report stresses the importance of identifying risk factors like bullying, access to firearms, and grievances prior to criminal action.

Debunking the Myths: Mental Illness and Mass Shootings

Debunking the Myths: Mental Illness and Mass Shootings

Drs. Brian Van Brunt and Lisa Pescara-Kovach

There is a pervasive assumption that mental illness equates to dangerousness and violence as it relates to mass shootings. The researchers examine the assumption and present a comprehensive literature review of how issues of mental illness impact violence and dangerousness. Many risk factors for violence are associated with mental health conditions, but they also occur in the absence of a diagnosis. A range of issues will be explored, including the unpredictability of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, stress from mental health problems inhibiting emotional stability, and past inpatient hospitalizations for suicide attempts as they impact likelihood of committing targeted violence. Risk mitigation strategies will be presented following a review of the literature.

School Shooters: Understanding High School, College, and Adult Perpetrators

School Shooters: Understanding High School, College, and Adult Perpetrators

Peter Langman

Langman takes a look at 48 national and international cases of school shootings in order to dispel the myths, explore the motives, and expose the realities of preventing school shootings from happening in the future, including identifying at risk individuals and helping them to seek help before it’s too late.

The Contagion Effect as it Relates to Public Mass Shootings and Suicides

The Contagion Effect as it Relates to Public Mass Shootings and Suicides

Dr. Lisa Pescara-Kovach and Dr. MJ Raleigh

This article demonstrates the impact of media on public mass shootings and suicides with special attention to sensationalized media coverage such as the Columbine attack, Virginia Tech, and Mandalay Bay shootings, as well as the Netflix series, Thirteen Reasons Why. The authors provide relevant research and advice to assist Behavioral Intervention Teams (BITs) toward reducing the risk of copycat public mass shootings and suicides by being more intentional regarding communication and coverage related to these events. Experts in the field of threat assessment have long understood the effect of media attention on high fatality mass shootings. These highly publicized, greatly sensationalized shootings often inspire and motivate at-risk individuals to perpetrate similar acts to achieve greater notoriety. Such shootings and suicides that include graphic details by media sources increase the likelihood of similar violence. Just as media details of a public mass shooting provide a recipe for a copycat incident, so do sensationalized details of suicide. High-profile celebrity suicides and graphic fictional suicides have been a trigger for copycat suicides for decades. Predicting and/or reducing copycat incidents is a central focus of Behavioral Intervention Teams (BITs). Research and guidance in this article serves to assist members in understanding what should be avoided to reduce contagion effects and copycat behavior.

Trigger Points: Inside the Mission to Stop Mass Shootings in America

Trigger Points: Inside the Mission to Stop Mass Shootings in America

Mark Follman

As Follman examines threat-assessment work throughout the country, he goes inside the FBI’s elite Behavioral Analysis Unit and immerses in an Oregon school district’s innovative violence-prevention program, the first such comprehensive system to prioritize helping kids and avoid relying on punitive measures. With its focus squarely on progress, the story delves into consequential tragedies and others averted, revealing the dangers of cultural misunderstanding and media sensationalism along the way. Ultimately, Follman shows how the nation could adopt the techniques of behavioral threat assessment more broadly, with powerful potential to save lives.

Why Kids Kill: Inside the Minds of School Shooters

Why Kids Kill: Inside the Minds of School Shooters

Peter Langman

In this breakthrough analysis, Dr. Peter Langman presents the psychological causes of school shootings and offers unprecedented insight into why certain teens exhibit the potential to kill. He shows how to identify early signs of possible violence and offers preventative measures that parents and educators can take to protect their communities.

Early Identification of Grooming and Targeting in Predatory Sexual Behavior on College Campuses

Early Identification of Grooming and Targeting in Predatory Sexual Behavior on College Campuses

Brian Van Brunt, EdD, Amy Murphy, PhD, Lisa Pescara-Kovach, PhD, and Gina-Lyn Crance, EdD

Institutions of higher education have an opportunity through prevention programs, education, and early intervention to reduce the occurrence of sexual violence within their student population. This article outlines grooming and targeting behaviors used in sexual predation in an effort to better inform those working in student conduct, the student affairs department, law enforcement, prevention education, and counseling/health services.

Sexual Assault on College and University Campuses

Sexual Assault on College and University Campuses

Mary Ellen O’Toole, PhD with Brian Van Brunt, EdD, Brett A. Sokolow, JD, Caitlin Flanagan, Monika Johnson Hostler, and Alison Kiss

Sexual assault on college and university campuses is in the headlines today, and there is a great deal of misinformation out there about the problem. This roundtable discussion provides knowledge and insight into the issues surrounding sexual assault on college campuses

The Dirty Dozen: Twelve Risk Factors for Sexual Violence on College Campuses (DD-12)

The Dirty Dozen: Twelve Risk Factors for Sexual Violence on College Campuses (DD-12)

Brian Van Brunt, EdD, Amy Murphy, EdD, and Mary Ellen O’Toole, PhD

National conversations have focused recently on the need for colleges and universities to better address the dilemma of sexual assault and other forms of sexual violence on U.S. college campuses. In the wake of this recent attention, university faculty and staff are faced with the dilemma of better understanding the motivations and risk factors associated with individuals and groups committing these types of attacks. Understanding these risk factors provides administrators, conduct officers, law enforcement, prevention advocates, and counselors with insight into preventative education and better informed policy and procedures to reduce sexual assault in the university setting.

Uprooting Sexual Violence in Higher Education: A Guide for Practitioners and Faculty

Uprooting Sexual Violence in Higher Education: A Guide for Practitioners and Faculty

Amy Murphy and Brian Van Brunt

With national conversation turned toward sexual assault on college campuses, knowing how to identify, prevent, and address these incidents in a safe, and productive way is essential for administrators and faculty. Uprooting Sexual Violence in Higher Education provides colleges and universities with a foundational understanding of twelve risk factors related to sexual assault, stalking, and intimate partner violence. By presenting a blend of theory, research, and the personal reflections of professionals ‘on the front lines,’ this book provides insights into the motivations, attitudes, and behaviors behind sexual assault on campus, as well as strategies for mitigating these risk factors in an effort to tailor prevention efforts. Whether you are seeking a way to navigate the recent regulations on sexual violence from the federal government or merely wish to safeguard the welfare of students on your campus, this book will provide the neccesary, and invaluable foundation you need to empower, respect, and support all students.

An Educator’s Guide to Assessing Threats in Student Writing

An Educator’s Guide to Assessing Threats in Student Writing

Brian Van Brunt, W. Scott Lewis & Jeffrey H. Solomon

Based on research from the threat-assessment community and drawing from the collective fields of law enforcement, law, and psychology, the authors expand on evidence-based practices to help student affairs staff and K-12 educators best assess the validity of these communications and develop intervention and management plans.

Assessing Threat in Written Communications, Social Media, and Creative Writing

Assessing Threat in Written Communications, Social Media, and Creative Writing

Dr. Brian Van Brunt

Most of those who plan violent attacks communicate their intentions before the attacks via social media and written communication, either through unintentional ‘‘leakage’’ or intentionally through ‘‘legacy tokens’’ used to explain their motivations. Most attackers share this information prior to the attack as a fantasy rehearsal to gauge the reaction and level of the attention that will come to them after the actual attack.

Beyond the Red Flags: Overcoming Obstacles and Managing Threat

Beyond the Red Flags: Overcoming Obstacles and Managing Threat

D-Prep

When it comes to preventing violence, it is not enough to just know and recognize the red flags. We need to advance the research-based work of collaborative teams, avoid the singular focus on target hardening or mental health diagnosis, increase the use of threat or violence risk assessments over psychological assessments, incorporate red teaming into processes to identify vulnerabilities, and commit to continuous risk assessments and ongoing threat management.

Dangerous Instincts: Use an FBI Profiler's Tactics to Avoid Unsafe Situations

Dangerous Instincts: Use an FBI Profiler's Tactics to Avoid Unsafe Situations

Mary Ellen O’Toole & Alisa Bowman

Using the SMART method, which O’Toole developed and used at the FBI, we can confidently know how to Respond to a threat in any situation, hire someone who will work inside your home like a contractor or housekeeper, figure out whether a prospective employee is a safe bet, know whom you can trust with your children, and more.

Harm to Others: The Assessment and Treatment of Dangerousness

Harm to Others: The Assessment and Treatment of Dangerousness

Brian Van Brunt

Van Brunt offers an effective way to increase knowledge of and training in violence risk and threat assessment, and it also provides a comprehensive examination of current treatment approaches. The underlying concepts and suggestions are useful for counselors, psychologists, and social workers who face these issues in their daily practice.

International Handbook of Threat Assessment

International Handbook of Threat Assessment

J. Reid Meloy & Jens Hoffman

Threat assessment is a method used by mental health and law enforcement professionals to assess the risk of intended violence toward a specific target. This guide offers a definition of the foundations of threat assessment, systematically explores its fields of practice, and provides information and instruction on the best practices of threat assessment.

Terrorist in Training: The Role of Social Media and the Rise of Terrorism through Nationalistic White Agenda

Terrorist in Training: The Role of Social Media and the Rise of Terrorism through Nationalistic White Agenda

Drs. Lisa Pescara-Kovach, Brian Van Brunt and Amy Murphy

The U.S. political landscape is increasingly divided, fueled in part by the indignant, caustic, and divisive language used in our social media and online conversations. The authors examine a subset of white males who feel marginalized and powerless as they hear messaging advancing tolerance, diversity, equality, and political correctness. This in turn has fueled vocal and strident opposition to mass immigration, rage over the disappearance of a so-called pure culture of Germans and Europeans, and an underlying fear at the prospect of losing their history and heritage. The open nature of social media has provided a safe haven for our youth to be radicalized by those espousing Generation Identity and Alt-Right ideologies, euphemisms for white supremacist thought and Nazism. The authors explore this trend through the recent terroristic actions in El Paso, Texas, Charleston, South Carolina and the related events of Oslo, Norway and Christchurch, New Zealand.

Threat Assessment and Management Strategies: Assessing Hunters and Howlers

Threat Assessment and Management Strategies: Assessing Hunters and Howlers

Frederick S. Calhoun & Stephen W. Weston

A successful threat management process does not necessarily depend on large staffs or huge resource commitments, but, instead, on attention to detail and a thoughtful approach. Through case studies and analyses, this volume explains the best practices for assessing problem individuals and the optimal protective response and management strategy.

Threat Assessment: A Risk Management Approach

Threat Assessment: A Risk Management Approach

James T. Turner & Michael G Gelles

Threat Assessment: A Risk Management Approach examines the factors that human resource, security, legal, and behavioral professionals need to understand in work violence and threat situations that disrupt the working environment, revealing the best ways to reduce risk and manage emergencies.

Understanding and Treating Incels: Case Studies, Guidance, and Treatment of Violence Risk

Understanding and Treating Incels: Case Studies, Guidance, and Treatment of Violence Risk

Brian Van Brunt & Chris Taylor

This is an indispensable guide for mental health clinical staff, social workers, prevention specialists, educators, and threat assessment professionals who want to better understand the involuntary celibate movement, assess individuals’ potential for violence, and offer treatment approaches and prevention efforts.

Violence Assessment and Intervention: The Practitioner’s Handbook

Violence Assessment and Intervention: The Practitioner’s Handbook

James S. Cawood & Michael H. Corcoran

This text provides a proven methodology, grounded in the current empirical research and the authors’ experience in successfully assessing and managing thousands of cases, for analyzing concerning behaviors and potential threatening situations, and taking action in these challenging, dynamic environments before tragedy occurs.

White Supremacist Violence: Understanding the Resurgence and Stopping the Spread

White Supremacist Violence: Understanding the Resurgence and Stopping the Spread

Brian Van Brunt, Lisa Pescara-Kovach & Bethany Van Brunt

White Supremacist Violence is a powerful resource for education and mental health professionals who are developing the tools and skills needed to slow the progress of the fast-growing hate movement in the United States. White Supremacist Violence gives readers useful perspectives and insights into the white supremacy movement while offering clinicians, threat-assessment professionals, and K-12 and university educators and administrators practical guidance on treatment and prevention efforts.