The Field Validity of Static-99/R Sex Offender Risk Assessment Tool in California

Policies that differentially apply to sexual offenders at different risk levels require defensible  procedures for classifying offenders into risk categories. The current study examines the reliability and validity of Static-99 and Static-99R sexual offender risk assessment tools as implemented in the State of California. California is a valuable case study because it is a large jurisdiction that has devoted considerable resources to the implementation of risk tools. Paper

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Another very interesting article by Hanson. Be sure to read carefully and count all the may be’s, could have’s, should have’s, might be’s. I still do not think that a 10 question tool to predict recidivism is that accurate. I believe it’s like shooting a cannonball into a lake; you have to be more accurate than shooting into the ocean, but chances are you’ll hit water.

What seems to be left out about recidivism risk are the most important factors like job, income, housing, family. They’re using past events to predict future behaviors. Once again, it’s like the blind man in the dark basement looking for a black cat that was never there.
Shoot at nothing and you’ll hit it every time!

Below is my earlier comment on this test. It is more appropriate on this post. I’ll admit I have not read the report and probably won’t understand it, but the biggest factor to me is #1 – Age at release. Now I realize that this test is to be given at release from incarceration or beginning of probation? But that ship has sailed for so many, going back to 1947. How is it possible to go back in time and do this at the appropriate time? And regardless, a person changes with age.

#1 is a 4-point swing. page 12: “it is worth noting that the raters had no particular difficulty scoring age at release”. So it appears to be cut and dry just like that.

My earlier comment (on the CASOMB Paper): ———————-

Hard to believe the credence given to these 10 questions…. starting with the name alone. Static and Risk. How can risk assessment be static? It is defined as “The probability of something happening multiplied by the resulting cost or benefit if it does.” The probability of something happening changes with a person’s situation.

Question #1 – age of offender at release. What if I was 19 at release but now I am 69 (50 years later) but I still get 1 point for my age at release (+4 points relative to my current age) as that is never going to change? What if I am 89 (70 years later) and in a vegetative state in a nursing home? I was still, and always will have been, 19 when I was released for the offense.

Question #8 – Unrelated victims…. so if I had a 16 year old girlfriend in high school my risk, for the rest of my life, is higher than if I abused my 5 year old daughter?

Okay, the Stranger Victims Question #9 makes sense to me. But only 1 point difference?

Looks like #2 can change over time – ever lived with someone for at least 2 years. That 1 point can make a difference. Can one request a re-score?

I do not understand the underlying data but this seems rather simplistic. I wonder if insurance companies run their business this way.

Another ‘paper’…???…from whom puttust (?) forth yet another ‘paper’ ..??…office of propaganda ..??…these are within custody parole tools…within parole.

I won’t be wasting my time reading something as ridiculous as a paper that purports to be able to judge the likelihood of someone committing a crime. What a waste of time and money. The soothsayer intelligentsia that penned this piece and all that believe in this kind of drivel are overlooking the one thing that has the ability to bring this whole “sex offender” scare to into focus and show what a monumental waste of time and $ the whole thing has been and is.

That one thing is change. Change is a universal law. Nothing ever stay’s the same. People change; their minds, thoughts and belief’s change. What seemed important one day loses it’s appeal the next. I’m not the same man with the same thoughts, feelings, belief’s and emotions I was at the time of my being sucked into this monumental lie referred to as the “sex offender” scare/problem.

This is the lowest form of counterproductive there is. But I’ll bet you’ll never hear the witch doctors that wrote this acknowledge this; partly because they believe their own conjured up fantasies, and the other single reason that is above all other reasons for them to believe their own BS is that they get BIG BUCKS for writing what others want to hear.

I am not disputing or trying to make my own guesses as who is more likely to offend, but to make this point: If registration was truly just regulatory, it makes sense to use it (static99) rather than more subjective guidelines like how one feels about the crimes committed. Since registration is punishment, the argument for applying statistics to determine retroactive sentencing is like this: Say it is determined that people who have committed petty theft are 80% more likely to commit murder than any other former offender. Therefore, every petty thief having finished their sentence is required to go to their nearest police station and be fitted with a GPS devise. One can argue that petty thieves are thereby hindered in their ability to commit murder, and it may even be effective, but it is so far from any concept of fairness as to go against every value we hold dear. Take it another way. You are brought before a court for a crime and it is determined that you are a plumber having a criminal record. It has also (I am just making this up, but there has been studies that show that people in certain income groups tend to commit certain crimes) been documented that plumbers have a high level of committing the crime you are being charged with. Even if the statistics show that there is a 80% offense rate, it may be valuable to offer some sort of offense prevention program and offer incentives like are offered to alcoholics, it would never be considered as legitimate to drag someone to court based on statistics as evidence that any individual plumber committed a crime or will ever commit a crime. Somehow, even with very low reoffense rates, those classified as sex criminals, do get re-convicted by statistics. There needs to be a better way to use the statistics to help people, not put them on a list that puts them in jepordy of harm to life and limb.