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NCJ Number: 220656 Find in a Library
Title: Gender and Risk Assessment: The Empirical Status of the LSI-R for Women
Journal: Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice  Volume:23  Issue:4  Dated:November 2007  Pages:363-382
Author(s): Kristy Holtfreter; Rhonda Cupp
Date Published: November 2007
Page Count: 20
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study evaluated the empirical status of the Level of Service Inventory-Revised (LSI-R) for women offenders.
Abstract: Empirical evidence indicated that the LSI-R appeared to fare better when predicting the more extreme recidivism outcomes among female offenders. Women were disproportionately affected by early life events, such as abuse, victimization, neglect, and poverty. Victimization experiences as children were recurrent themes in females’ own assessment of factors that contributed to their criminality; street women and harmed or harming women shared similar backgrounds that were full with victimization experiences. Later life events were influential in female crime and recidivism as were economic and interpersonal issues. The analyses suggest that the LSI-R works differently for various offender groups and that the bulk of research used to support claims of gender neutrality was based on males. Many claims touting gender neutrality are based on research that either failed to disaggregate samples by sex or used non-representative samples of female offenders. The limited number of studies on female offenders suggests that it is simply too early to come to any definitive statement mirroring the optimistic conclusions reached in research on male offenders. Although the LSI-R does appear to work fairly well for women whose offending context may be most similar to males, the same cannot be said for women who follow gendered pathways to crime. The evaluation used in this research covered 41 studies on the performance of the LSI-R for female samples, male samples, and mixed female/male samples conducted during a 20-year research period from 1986 through 2006. Of this number, just 11 studies or 25 percent reported statistics for females; the 11 studies summarized the current empirical status of the LSI-R for women. Research designs that incorporate quantitative and qualitative methods should be advanced since continuing to simply add gender in tests of criminological theories and actuarial risk assessment may be costly to society in the long run. Table, notes, references
Main Term(s): Comparative criminology; Female offenders; Gender issues
Index Term(s): Female inmates; Inmate classification; Offender classification; Offender reclassification; Risk management; Testing and measurement
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