• Article

Predictive validity of HCR-20, START, and Static-99R assessments in predicting institutional aggression among sexual offenders

Sexual offenders are at greater risk of nonsexual than sexual violence. Yet, only a handful of studies have examined the validity of risk assessments in predicting general, nonsexual violence in this population. This study examined the predictive validity of assessments completed using the Historical-Clinical-Risk Managment-20 Version 2 (HCR-20; Webster, Douglas, Eaves, & Hart, 1997), Short-Term Assessment of Risk and Treatability (START; Webster, Martin, Brink, Nicholls, & Desmarais, 2009), and Static-99R (Hanson & Thornton, 1999) in predicting institutional (nonsexual) aggression among 152 sexual offenders in a large secure forensic state hospital. Aggression data were gathered from institutional records over 90-day and 180-day follow-up periods. Results support the predictive validity of HCR-20 and START, and to a lesser extent, Static-99R assessments in predicting institutional aggression among patients detained or civilly committed pursuant to the sexually violent predator (SVP) law. In general, HCR-20 and START assessments demonstrated greater predictive validity-specifically, the HCR-20 Clinical subscale scores and START Vulnerability total scores-than Static-99R assessments across types of aggression and follow-up periods.

Public Significance Statement

This study examined the validity of assessments completed using the Historical-Clinical-Risk Managment-20 (HCR-20), Short-Term Assessment of Risk and Treatability (START), and Static-99R in predicting institutional (nonsexual) aggression among sexual offenders in a large forensic state hospital. Our findings indicate that these violence risk assessment instruments have a place in the assessment and management of sexual offenders. They also provide the first evidence supporting the use of START in this population.

Citation

Cartwright, J. K., Desmarais, S. L., Hazel, J., Griffith, T., & Azizian, A. (2018). Predictive validity of HCR-20, START, and Static-99R assessments in predicting institutional aggression among sexual offenders. Law and Human Behavior, 42(1), 13-25. https://doi.org/10.1037/lhb0000263

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