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NCJ Number: 209915 Find in a Library
Title: Emerging Strategies for Risk Assessment of Sexually Abusive Youth: Theory, Controversy, and Practice
Journal: Journal of Child Sexual Abuse  Volume:13  Issue:3/4  Dated:2004  Pages:83-105
Author(s): David S. Prescott
Date Published: 2004
Page Count: 23
Type: Literature Review
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article reviews five methods for assessing the risk of reoffending by sexually abusive juveniles, and four scales are discussed, with instructions on how to obtain them.
Abstract: The anamnestic risk assessment method reviews factors related to past misconduct. It includes a thorough review of the thoughts, feelings, situations, and behaviors that led to past instances of harmful sexual behavior. Another risk assessment method, clinical judgment, relies on a clinician's knowledge and experience regarding sexual offenders and offending. Actuarial assessment refers to a method of combining data in an explicit, fixed, and objective fashion. The scales typically include "static" factors that are fixed in an offender's history, such as offense history, victim gender, age at release, number of prior sentencing dates, etc. Empirically grounded structured assessment includes a specific process for obtaining information but not for weighting it. It focuses on both static and dynamic variables. The requirements for decisionmaking are less formalized than in actuarial scales, and they provide room for new information as it becomes available either through new collateral information, interview data, or observations in a given setting. The clinically informed actuarial risk assessment method derives actuarial data from a limited but large group of people, but uses clinical judgment to augment actuarial determination in reaching a final opinion for an individual. Following this review of risk assessment methods, four risk-assessment scales are profiled: Langstrom and Grann's Tentative Four-Factor Risk Index, the Juvenile Sex Offender Assessment Protocol, the Protective Factors Scale, and the Estimate of Risk of Adolescent Sex Offender Recidivism. The author advises that as much of an "improvement over chance" as these scales may provide, they have not yet reached an acceptable level of competence in assessing risk for sexual offending among adolescents, as many potential markers of sexual recidivism remain unaddressed. 4 tables and 77 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile Sex Offenders
Index Term(s): Recidivism causes; Recidivism prediction; Risk management; Sex offense causes; Testing and measurement
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