Sex Offender Age and Recidivistic Risk Estimates

Up until now actuarial risk indicators for sexual violence using static indicators have not typically taken age of the offender into account. The big guys (Harris, Rice, & Quinsey) using the VRAG and SORAG explicitly resisted the idea, stating that adding age does not improve prediction, all though there is a lot of support for the idea that criminal tendencies “age out.”  The recent article in Sexual Abuse: A Journal for Research and Treatment, finally gives firm support for the idea, although they use the Static-99 and the Automated Sexual Recidivism Scale. They show that failure to take age into account underestimates risk levels in young adults and overestimates risk in older adults.

Source:  Wollert, R., et al. (2010). Recent research (N = 9,305) underscores the importance of using age-stratified actuarial tables in sex offender risk assessments. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 22, 4, 471-490.

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