How to best predict sexual reoffending among sex offenders
STABLE-2007 predicts risk for sexual, violent, and any crime reoffending above and beyond Static-99R. Our findings justify the use of STABLE-2007 and Static-99R to guide decisions about risk management and interventions.
To reduce the likelihood of reoffending, professionals working with individuals convicted of sexual offences need to focus their intervention efforts on the factors most strongly related to the persistence of sexual offending. No single risk factor (e.g., sexual interest in children) provides the sufficient or necessary condition for the persistence of sexual offending. Evaluators typically consider a range of risk factors using structured risk assessment tools.
The STABLE-2007, used for adult males convicted of a sexual offence, is the most widely used assessment tool addressing changing risk factors (e.g., procriminal attitude, impulsivity) in both Canada and the United States. The STABLE-2007 is typically used with the Static-99R. The Static-99R, a faster to score risk tool, is based on an individual's demographic information and criminal history; however, the Static-99R does not provide information on intervention targets.
The purpose of the current study was to review of 20 studies (with 12 independent samples) that have examined the ability of the STABLE-2007 to predict reoffending, as well as to determine whether the STABLE-2007 can improve our prediction of reoffending above and beyond the Static-99R.
The key questions were: (1) Will the STABLE-2007 total scores predict risk of sexual, non-sexual violence, any violence (including sexual), and any crime reoffending? (2) Will using the STABLE-2007 with the Static-99R improve the prediction of sexual offending?
The individuals in each of the 20 studies were male offenders who were on average 40 years old and primarily Caucasian. The samples included individuals who were convicted of sexual offences against adults or children (including child pornography offences).
The STABLE-2007 predicted all outcomes, including sexual, violent (non-sexual), violent (including sexual), and any crime reoffending. This finding supports the utility of the STABLE-2007 in determining intervention targets in order to reduce sexual offending. In addition, the prediction of reoffending became more accurate when the STABLE-2007 was included in addition to the Static-99R. These findings were supported across different ethnic groups (Canadian vs. non-Canadian samples) and risk- level groups (e.g., higher-risk group).
Three main practice implications are highlighted:
- The STABLE-2007 and its items can be used to better inform supervision and treatment targets.
- Using the STABLE-2007 and the Static-99R permits correctional officers to more effectively manage the risk posed by sexual offenders.
- The STABLE-2007 can provide insights on the risk posed by individuals who exclusively have child pornography offences, an emerging population of sexual offenders in Canada.
Brankley, A. E., Babchishin, K. M., & Hanson, R. K. (2017). STABLE-2007 demonstrates predictive and incremental validity in assessing risk-relevant propensities for sexual offending: A meta-analysis. Manuscript accepted for publication. Sexual Abuse.
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Research Summaries are produced for the Community Safety and Countering Crime Branch, Public Safety Canada. The summary herein reflects interpretations of the report authors' findings and do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Public Safety Canada.
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