Sex Offender Risk Assessment
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Compared to clinical methods, actuarial risk instruments are a preferred method to discern sex offenders risk for sexual as well as violent recidivism because, unlike clinical practices, they are considered inexpensive, objective and modestly accurate. Scientists argue that risk instruments that employ only static, or historic measures of offender characteristics, rather than dynamic, are certainly sufficient for the purposes of gauging individuals' likelihood of recidivism. In fact, Harris and Rice (2003:207) contend that dynamic constructs are “unnecessary for anticipating who will recidivate in a given time period”; furthermore they state that “very accurate statements about the likelihood of another…offense can be based upon knowledge of an individual's lifetime conduct.” In their view, offender risk scales that incorporate only static information are essentially capturing factors that reflect a person's underlying antisocial propensity. Although there are a considerable number of risk instruments available for corrections officials to utilize, far fewer have been rigorously evaluated. Of those that have, Harris and Rice (2003) recommend that the MnSOST-R and the Static-99 are two of the most “promising” scales for predicting sexual recidivism. An emerging body of work also suggests that the sorag is quite effectual in terms of its predictive accuracy. Additional empirical research is likely to surface which will provide further evidence of the statistical accuracy of sex offender risk instruments.
Huebner, B. & Valentine, D. (2006). "Sex Offender Risk Assesment" Report 17-2006. Retrieved 09-21-09 from University of Missouri Columbia, Institute of Public Policy Web site: http://www.truman.missouri. edu/ipp/