Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 29 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This essay discusses the assessment of recidivism risk in sex offenders. It begins with definitions of critical terms and concepts. A number of approaches to risk assessment are described. Validated risk instruments are reviewed, with a focus on their reliability and accuracy in predicting recidivism. Actuarial assessment of risk is described as a two-stage process. In the first stage, offenders are assessed and assigned to a risk level or stratum. In the second stage, the probability of risk over a follow-up period is estimated based on the offender’s risk ranking. The essay discusses calibration in the context of Bayes’ theorem, which reveals critically important realities involving base rates and the use of currently available standardization samples in determining a final estimate of recidivism likelihood. The essay concludes with a glimpse into the future of risk assessment and predictions about the next stage in evidence-based risk assessment of sex offenders.

Keywords: assessment, Bayes’ Theorem, recidivism, risk, sex offender

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.