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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 182779 Find in a Library
Title: Sex Offender Need Assessment Rating (SONAR): A Method for Measuring Change in Risk Levels
Author(s): R. Karl Hanson; Andrew Harris
Date Published: 2000
Page Count: 25
Sponsoring Agency: Canada Minister of Public Works and Government Services
Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0S5,
Publication Number: ISBN 0-662-28407-0
Sale Source: Canada Minister of Public Works and Government Services
16A1, 102 Corporate Communications,
Portage III
Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0S5,
Document: PDF
Type: Test/Measurement
Format: Book (Softbound)
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: In Canadian corrections there are no established scales for evaluating change in risk among sex offenders; the Sex Offender Need Assessment Rating (SONAR), which is described in this report, was developed to fill this gap.
Abstract: In order to focus on potentially dynamic risk factors, Hanson and Harris (1998, in press) examined the antecedents of recidivism in a group of sex offenders already known to have reoffended while under community supervision. Comparisons with non-recidivists identified a number of dynamic risk factors, such as non-cooperation with supervision, victim access, anger, sexual preoccupations, and acute changes in mood. The current study examines how well the dynamic risk factors identified in the Hanson and Harris study can be organized into a structured risk assessment. This study does not claim to establish the predictive validity of the measure, because the same database was used to develop items and to test the scale's validity. Instead, the study had the more modest aim of suggesting a plausible approach to dynamic risk assessment, an approach that is sufficiently explicit to be used and evaluated in other samples. The SONAR includes five relatively stable factors (intimacy deficits, negative social influences, attitudes tolerant of sexual offending, sexual self-regulation, and general self-regulation) and four acute factors (substance abuse, negative mood, anger, and victim access). The psychometric properties of the scale were examined by using data previously collected by Hanson and Harris. Overall, the scale showed adequate internal consistency and moderate ability to differentiate between recidivists and non-recidivists. SONAR continued to distinguish between the groups after controlling for well-established risk indicators, such as age, IQ, and scores on the Static-99. 3 tables, 1 figure, 44 references, and appended SONAR scoring criteria
Main Term(s): Corrections in foreign countries
Index Term(s): Needs assessment; Recidivism prediction; Sex offenders; Testing and measurement
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