Crime impacts upon the community at multiple levels, causing distress and loss for the victims, and feelings of insecurity for the public, as well as adding to the drain on financial resources for governments. This makes the accurate identification of risk of reoffending and the determination of efficacious rehabilitation strategies imperative. Key principles in cognitive and behavioural psychology can contribute to this task. This paper will review the issue of risk assessment and describe the applicability of functional analysis to forensic psychology. Two studies by the authors will be used to illustrate concepts raised in this review. The paper will conclude with a model that may help guide the realistic implementation of detailed individual functional analyses of offenders' behaviour.