***Updated 11/22/2021: SARATSO will begin resuming in-person trainings with a limited number of online training opportunities. Please visit www.covid19.ca.gov to review the plan for your county in relation to moving towards in-person services. ***


The term SARATSO refers to evidence-based, state authorized risk assessment tools used for evaluating sex offenders.

State law established the SARATSO (State Authorized Risk Assessment Tools for Sex Offenders) Review Committee, to consider the selection of the risk assessment tools for California. Research shows that the most accurate way of predicting whether a sex offender will reoffend is by utilizing a validated risk assessment instrument.

What is the Containment Model?

A collaborative approach to sex offender management, known as the Containment Model, is used in California. Communication and collaboration among the supervising officer, treatment provider, and polygraph examiner are the heart of this model, which relies on ongoing communication about risk.


New Risk Category Labels for Static-99R:
New names have been announced for the risk categories on the Static-99R.  A Five-Level Risk and Needs System: Maximizing Assessment Results in Corrections through the Development of a Common Language

  • Very Low Risk, Category I, scores -3, -2
  • Below Average Risk, Category II, scores -1, 0
  • Average Risk, Category III, scores 1, 2, 3
  • Above Average Risk, Category IV-a, scores 4,5
  • Above Average Risk, Category IV-a, scores 4,5
  • Well Above Average Risk, Category IV-b, scores 6+

A 2016 study sponsored by SARATSO examined sexual re-offense rates of sex offenders on parole or probation, five years after release from custody. (The Predictive Validity of Static-99R for Sexual Offenders in California (2016 Update)). The 2016 study concluded that the Static-99R is an effective measure of the risk of sexual re-offense used with the ethnically diverse California sex offender population. 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.