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The current status of static and dynamic factors in sexual offender risk assessment

The current status of static and dynamic factors in sexual offender risk assessment Purpose – The aim of this paper is to provide up‐to‐date discussion of the types of factors used to assess sexual offenders risk. Design/methodology/approach – The current status of the factors used to assess risk in sexual offenders is examined. Findings – Risk factors broadly fall into two categories: static factors (i.e. generally unchangeable information such as previous offence history) from which a number of actuarial scales have been developed; and dynamic factors (i.e. psychological dispositions) that are typically identified in treatment. It is suggested that these risk factors are artefacts of the same behavioural and psychological vulnerabilities at different stages of assessment, with static factors acting as markers for underlying dispositions, while dynamic factors are the underlying dispositions. Practical implications – The paper discusses in some detail the status of age as a risk factor, where even though it is typically considered a static risk factor in a number of actuarial scales (allowance typically being made if individuals are over/under 25), there is a dynamic element (i.e. change with age or the passage of time) to this aspect of assessment. Originality/value – This paper may be useful to practitioners working in the field, in terms of providing a useful heuristic framework for risk conceptualisation. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research Emerald Publishing

The current status of static and dynamic factors in sexual offender risk assessment

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2012 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1759-6599
DOI
10.1108/17596591211270671
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The aim of this paper is to provide up‐to‐date discussion of the types of factors used to assess sexual offenders risk. Design/methodology/approach – The current status of the factors used to assess risk in sexual offenders is examined. Findings – Risk factors broadly fall into two categories: static factors (i.e. generally unchangeable information such as previous offence history) from which a number of actuarial scales have been developed; and dynamic factors (i.e. psychological dispositions) that are typically identified in treatment. It is suggested that these risk factors are artefacts of the same behavioural and psychological vulnerabilities at different stages of assessment, with static factors acting as markers for underlying dispositions, while dynamic factors are the underlying dispositions. Practical implications – The paper discusses in some detail the status of age as a risk factor, where even though it is typically considered a static risk factor in a number of actuarial scales (allowance typically being made if individuals are over/under 25), there is a dynamic element (i.e. change with age or the passage of time) to this aspect of assessment. Originality/value – This paper may be useful to practitioners working in the field, in terms of providing a useful heuristic framework for risk conceptualisation.

Journal

Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace ResearchEmerald Publishing

Published: Sep 28, 2012

Keywords: Sexual offenders; Assessment; Static risk; Dynamic risk; Risk analysis; Criminals; Risk assessment

References