- The Oxford Handbooks in Criminology and Criminal Justice
- The Oxford Handbook of Sex Offences and Sex Offenders
- List of Contributors
- What is sex crime?
- Exploring the methods behind sexual violence estimates: The Composition and Findings from National and International Surveys
- The explanation of sexual offending
- Sexual offenders and human rights: Protecting Victims
- Rape and domestic sexual assault
- Sexual homicide and violent offenders
- Child sexual abuse
- Alcohol and drugs in relation to sexual offending
- Commercial sexual exploitation of children
- Victim–offender overlap among sex offenders
- Female sex offenders
- The juvenile sex offender: Criminal Careers and Recidivism Risk
- A developmental life-course perspective of juvenile and adult sexual offending
- Victimization and revictimization
- The role of policy in preventing sexual violence
- The policing of sexual activity
- Sentencing high-risk sex offenders: Policy and Legislation
- The aftermath of sex offender registration and other controls
- Risk assessment of sex offenders
- Treatment of sex offenders: Concepts and Empirical Evaluations
- Informal social control of sex offenders: The Family and Other Forms of Support
- Restorative justice and sex offending
- Public perceptions of sex crimes and sex offenders
- The media response to sex crimes
- The paedophile in popular culture: Fictional Representations of Sex Crime
- Social media, cyberspace, and sex crime: Deviant and Democratizing Spaces
- The criminalization of sexuality
- Prostitution and sex work
- Sex trafficking and control
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.
Howard E. Barbaree is a Professor of Forensic Psychiatry at the University of Toronto.
Robert A. Prentky is a Professor of Forensic Psychology at Fairleigh Dickinson University.
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