Frequently Asked Questions

The highest priority of the SARATSO Committee is community safety.
*SARATSO-State-Authorized Risk Assessment Tools for Sex Offenders (Pen. Code, §290.03-09.)

A: The assessment is based on research studies identifying things about sex offenders that when present predict risk of re-offense, such as age of the offender, prior arrests and convictions for sex offenses and violent offenses, and type of victim.
A: The risk scores are based on reoffense rates of very large groups of sex offenders. If the offender being scored is similar to the large group of sex offenders on which the reoffense rates were derived then we would expect the individual sex offender to have a similar rate of sexual reoffense for any given score.
A: The static risk assessment instrument used in California, the Static-99R, correctly identified 82% of California registered sex offenders who were arrested for a new sexual offense within 5 years of release from custody in a study published in 2014.  In a second California recidivism study published online in 2016, the predictive accuracy of the Static-99R score for a group of probation and parolee sex offenders in California was 78%, which is excellent.   Other meta-analyses not specific to California offenders show that the Static-99R has moderate predictive accuracy of 70 - 75%.
A: Predictive accuracy of 70% is considered to be moderately predictive, while predictive accuracy above 80% is considered excellent.
A: Since there are no static risk instruments that include all the risk factors for sexual reoffense, the examination of additional risk factors, such as dynamic (changeable) risk factors, will improve risk predictions.
A: Static risk assessments are based on unchanging factors in the criminal history of the offender and done presentencing. Chelsea's Law requires that sex offenders be assessed for dynamic (changing risk factors) risk and risk of future violence. Combining the score on these risk instruments with the static score will improve the accuracy of risk predictions.
A: Research-based risk assessment helps probation and parole decide which offenders need more intensive supervision, including active monitoring with GPS, and helps inform sexual offender management decisions by supervising officers and treatment management professionals.
A: Probation administers the Static-99R pre-sentencing and while the offender is on probation; parole administers the Static-99R prior to release on parole. The treatment provider administers the Stable-2007, Acute-2007 (dynamic tools) and the LSCMI (violence tool) as part of the treatment program.
A: Each certified sex offender treatment program must have at least one certified provider who has been trained by a SARATSO-approved trainer to score the dynamic (Stable-2007) and violence (LSCMI) risk assessment instruments. Thus, when a certified program is run by a sole practitioner, that certified provider must have the required SARATSO-approved training. A program with multiple certified providers can elect to have only one person certified to do the scoring on these instruments.
A: Check for currently scheduled SARATSO trainings under the Trainings tab. You can also check with SARATSO staff to see if a trainer has been approved by SARATSO if the course is offered through another organization.
A: Check with these following organizations for courses:
A: The law requires at least a year in a sex offender-specific certified treatment program, which is one component of the Containment Model (treatment, supervision, polygraph, with a victim focus). See Penal Code sections 1203.067 and 3008. The program may extend beyond a year and that decision is left to the discretion of the Containment team, meaning the probation officer and treatment provider. Frequency and modality (e.g., group vs. individual therapy, whether weekly, monthly, or other) is again left to the Containment team pursuant to law. Adherence to uniform standards is assured by requiring all providers and provider agencies to be certified by the CA Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) per the standards posted at casomb.org. (See Penal Code section 290.09.) Provider agencies must have trained personnel who can do dynamic and violence risk assessments, and must use a polygraph examiner who complies with CASOMB standards to fully inform the treatment program and supervising officer about risk. Dynamic and violence risk assessments are required during the program—see materials available on the state sex offender risk assessment (SARATSO) committee's web site, saratso.org. There is a publication on the SARATSO web site explaining this system for courts. https://saratso.org/docs/RA_summary_for_judges_attys_rev_1-3-17.pdf. The  Containment Model, as used in California, is also explained online: https://casomb.org/index.cfm?pid=1231.
A: Yes. Research shows that the person’s risk of reoffending sexually becomes lower the longer an offender remains offense-free in the community, after he or she is released from custody or put on probation. After about 20 years in the community offense-free, even a high risk offender poses no higher risk of sexual offending than a person convicted of any type of crime. On the other hand, if an offender commits another criminal offense of any kind, his or her risk level rises and increases the risk of sexual reoffense for three to four years following conviction of the new criminal offense. (See Resources page, Hanson, R.Karl, et al., Not Always a Sex Offender.)