Risk Assessment Instruments


Static sex offender risk assessment

The Static-99R is based on static (unchanging) risk factors which predict the potential for sexual re-offending. This risk assessment instrument is required by law to be used by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to assess every eligible sex offender prior to release on parole; by Probation, to assess every eligible sex offender pre-sentencing and on a probation case load; and by the Department of State Hospitals, prior to release of an eligible sex offender from a DSH institution. In 2012 a study showed that inter-rater reliability on the instrument is strong in California (scorers are consistent in scoring the instrument). For more information on the Static-99R, click here or visit www.static99.org.

Validation Studies in California Support Good Predictive Accuracy of Static-99R

The California Department of Justice (DOJ) partnered with the SARATSO Committee to conduct two validation studies of the Static-99 risk assessment instrument. DOJ provided data on registered sex offenders in California.  The data was analyzed by experts in the field of risk assessment retained by the SARATSO Committee.  The 2014 study examined re-offense rates of parolee sex offenders five years after release from prison to the community.  The 2016 study analyzed the sexual re-offense rates of both parolee and probation offenders five years after release from custody into the community.  Both studies showed good predictive accuracy of the Static-99R in predicting risk of sexual recidivism among a diverse California sex offender population.  The 2014 study is described in the Journal of Threat Assessment and Management (2014), Vol. 1, No. 2, at pp. 102-117.  If funding is available to continue this study, the study will examine 10-year re-offense rates in 2017.    The Static-99R was found to be very accurate in predicting who would reoffend in California, accurately predicting who would commit a new sex offense in about 82% of cases in the 2014 study.  High risk offenders had a recidivism rate of over 29%, while low risk offenders had a recidivism rate of only 1.6%. 

In the 2016 study (Lee, S., Hanson, R. Karl, et al., The Predictive Validity of Static-99R for Sexual Offenders in California: 2016 Update), the criminal histories of 1,626 offenders were examined to determine recidivism rates.  The study concluded that overall the Static-99R works well in predicting risk of sexual re-offense among various ethnic groups.  The 2016 study showed that the rate of re-offense in California was slightly lower than the average rate of re-offense found in international samples. In the 2016 California sample, probation offenders reoffended at a higher rate than parolee offenders.  The 2016 study also found that transient offenders reoffended sexually at a higher rate than non-transient offenders.  The study concluded that transient status among both probation and parolee offenders seems to be associated with higher sexual recidivism rates.

Literature Review

Two new studies explain research behind the new labels for risk categories on the Static-99R (Hanson, et al., New Static-99R Risk Categories), and the most current recidivism rates for this population, based on national and international research studies (Hanson, et al., Recidivism Rates 2016.)

JSORRAT-II (Juvenile Risk Assessment Instrument)

Juvenile sex offender risk assessment: JSORRAT-II

The JSORRAT-II was developed using an actuarial approach in an attempt to bring greater accuracy and utility to risk assessments for male juveniles who have offended sexually, recognizing the potential for accurate risk assessment to inform a range of decisions, including placement, programming, supervision, and other resource allocation decisions. The JSORRAT-II is a 12-item actuarial risk assessment tool initially developed to provide empirically-based estimates of risk for future juvenile sexual offending by male juveniles in the juvenile justice system for prior sexual offenses.

STABLE-2007/ACUTE-2007 (SARATSO Instrument for Dynamic Risk Assessment)

The Stable-2007/Acute-2007 was adopted by the SARATSO Committee in September 2013 as the new dynamic risk assessment instrument. Training on this instrument should be completed by the end of 2014.  The Stable-2007/Acute-2007 is scored by certified treatment providers working with sex offenders on probation or parole.  (Pen. Code, sec. 290.09.)  The prior dynamic tool, the SRA-FVL, must be used until the certified treatment provider is trained by a SARATSO-approved trainer to use the Stable-2007/Acute-2007.  These tools measure dynamic (changing) risk factors which are empirically related to the risk of re-offense, and are evidence-based risk assessment tools.  Dynamic risk assessment supplements the static risk assessment now done in California using the Static-99R, and gives a better picture of the overall risk of re-offense presented by sex offenders on supervision.  The STABLE is predictive of the risk of future sexual offending.  (See Literature Review/Validity Study of the STABLE-2007/ACUTE-2007.)

LSCMI (Level of Service/Case Management Inventory – Instrument Used to Assess Risk of Violent Reoffending)

Sex offender risk assessment predictive of violent reoffending: LS/CMI (Level of Service/Case Management Inventory)

The LSCMI is used by sex offender management professionals to assess registered sex offenders while they are on probation or parole. (Pen. Code, § 290.09.) The tool is predictive of the risk of violent re-offending (see Literature Review of LS/CMI), and is an evidence-based risk assessment tool. Violence risk assessment supplements the static and dynamic risk assessments. The combination of these three instruments will give a better picture of the overall risk of re-offense presented by sex offenders on parole or probation supervision.