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These 10 Questions Can Mean Life Behind Bars

A short checklist called the Static-99 weighs facts about a sex offender’s past in order to predict the likelihood of future crimes. Many legal and scientific experts worry that the way the test is often used — to make high-stakes decisions about an individual’s liberty — is critically flawed. Full Article

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  1. td777

    Look at the tally sheet, it’s a joke! If you’ve never lived with a “lover,” for more than two years, it’s against you? That means if you’re someone who is in your early 20’s and haven’t lived with a lover for over two years, then you’ve already got two marks against you??? If nothing else, that should say what a joke the Static-99 really is! And if you’ve got a “non-contact” offense, it’s worse than having a contact offense??? Give me a break already!

    • Lake County

      That’s a good point td777. Many people under 30 or so have not lived with a lover for over 2 years. Times have changed and many “lovers” could have long term relationships without living with each other. I even know of two married couples that have separate residences (weird, but works for them). I do understand why they consider it a good question. But, I think a more detailed relationship history should be considered. However, the whole test should be scraped as bad science.

    • Q

      I’ve always said that these tests, as well as lie detector tests and any other “tool” (and I use the term loosely) used by the state or any other agency that claims to be able to come up with a estimate of someones likelihood of committing a/another “sex crime” is nothing but a bunch of BS – junk science – trash, and allot of other things; none of them good. And this is my view and opinion on this sort of garbage because mankind never has and never will be able to predict the future, which is basically what these “tests” claim to do.

  2. David

    td777, I agree – how can anyone find the Static-99 to be a valid tool? A male victim scores you a point? So, quite literally, women victims don’t count?? And a non-related victim scores you another point? So you get no points for having coerced sex with your baby sister?? But sex with the 17 year old boy next door will earn you 2 Static points? Homophobia at its finest, even in 2015!

  3. someone who cares

    The term “Static” alone says that this is a useless tool. Static means that it won’t change, but people do change. So technically, a person who has not committed another offense in 30 or more years will still score the same since none of the questions about convictions, age, etc will ever change….Does anyone know who gets administered the Static99-R? My fiancé’s offense had nothing to do with children, the judge didn’t order it, and it was not part of the sentencing.

    • Bruce Ferrell

      I’m speaking from experience here.

      Static-99R is the “test” that is administered, and it’s not a simple checklist. It’s an interview in which the areas of the mentioned list are explored and evaluated. In my case the interview was over three hours performed by a licensed psychologist.

      Static refers to the fact that it collects and evaluates the interviewees history. I think we agree the past IS static. Is that an accurate measure of the future? I doubt it. Neither is reading tea leaves.

      All of that said, even the psychopathy “test” is considered questionable by it’s maker. It was NEVER intended for the use it’s been put to by the courts and law enforcement.

      Are these tests and tools accurate? Beats me. But they ARE the standards that are used and when laymen (and lets not be sexist laywomen) read and judge them, they are inevitably distorted. Just like the law has words and phrase that very exact and have specific meanings *in that context* and very different ones outside, so does psychology.

      sigh.

      I’m just SO bloody tired.

  4. NotlikingCA

    Mine was a checklist that took about 3 minutes on my third to last day in prison.
    It is static in that it doesn’t change unless it is readministered (sometimes having a new crime will lower your score!!).
    The checklist is ridiculous and needs to be abolished.

  5. JM

    Perhaps it’s just me but…if an older person age 50, abused a child (someone under the age of 12) or even someone under the age of 6, and it happened to be a niece, daughter, granddaughter, while being married, you get 0 points. But if you were 24, and had a consensual relationship with a girlfriend (someone under 18), you would get 2 or 3 points. THAT makes no sense to me!

  6. mch

    The Static-99 is vodoo science, and scoring is left to the whim of the one who administers this rag. If it happens to be a pissed off parole or probation officer your score will be higher because they don’t give a flying —- what happens to you. If it puts you behind bars longer, then they’re happy; one less case for them. Another predictably unpredictable assessment tool. Until one can see into the heart and mind of a person, there is no real tool to predict their future behavior.
    What we do know is this: get a place to live, a decent job with a livable wage, a positive support group, made up of family, friends and a church (if one chooses), stop the incessant law enforcement harassment and you will be successful. No if’s, and’s or but’s; you will succeed.
    It’s like the blind man in a dark basement looking for the black cat that was never there.

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