- Treatment referral for sex offenders based on clinical judgment versus actuarial risk assessment: match and analysis of mismatch
- Journal of Interpersonal Violence
- Volume | Issue number
- 28 | 11
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
The Risk Need Responsivity (RNR) principles (Andrews & Bonta, 2010) dictate that higher risk sex offenders should receive more intensive treatment. The present study investigates how clinically based treatment assignment relates to risk level in a sex offender sample from The Netherlands. Correlational analyses served to identify sources of mismatches: that is, variables differing significantly in their relation between treatment selection and risk level. Our study sample consisted of 194 convicted rapists and 214 convicted child molesters. All participants’ criminal files were retrospectively coded in terms of the items of the STATIC-99R, PCL: SV, and SVR-20. A low to moderate correlation was observed between clinical treatment selection and actuarial risk levels. A substantial part of the sex offenders, especially child molesters, received overly intensive treatment and another substantial part, especially rapists, received treatment of lesser intensity than indicated by their risk levels. General violent and antisocial risk factors seemed to be underemphasized in the clinical evaluation of sex offenders, especially rapists. A negative attitude toward intervention was negatively associated with clinical treatment selection. It is concluded that clinical treatment selection leads to an insufficient match between risk level and treatment level and systematic use of validated structured risk assessment instruments is necessary to ensure optimal adherence to the risk principle.
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