Michele O. Waldron, PsyD, is a 2012 graduate of the PsyD Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University New England.
- George Tremblay, PhD (Committee Chair)
- James Graves, PhD (Committee Member)
- Alejandro Leguizamo, PhD (Committee Member)
Static-99, sex offender, ethnicity
Risk assessments contribute to sentencing and parole decisions, and thus are among the highest stakes assessments in the mental health field. The Static-99 has become a standard element of risk assessments for sex offenders, yet its norms and predictive accuracy have been established primarily with Caucasian samples, while the incarcerated population is disproportionately minority. Scoring of the Static-99 depends heavily on history of criminal offenses; if patterns of offenses differ along ethnic lines, the possibility that offense history should be understood to have ethnically-specific predictive validity (that is, the predictive significance of a given factor differs by ethnicity) becomes more compelling. This study does not address predictive validity directly, but it does examine patterns of scoring on the Static-99 for White, Black, and Latino incarcerated male sex offenders. Static-99 scores from 427 incarcerated male sexual offenders (264 White, 79 Black, 84 Latino) from the Massachusetts Treatment Center revealed that Whites were more likely than Blacks or Latinos to sexually assault male victims. Blacks had higher scores than Whites or Latinos on items related to violence, and were more likely to offend against stranger victims. Statistical significance was not reached for the age, cohabitation, and unrelated victim items. Researchers have recently found that the Static-99 has variable accuracy with offender subgroups, such as non-White offenders, but it remains a better predictor of sexual recidivism than clinical judgment alone. Researchers continue to explore and understand the variables that predict sexual recidivism. Dynamic risk factors and normative groups will be important areas to research to enhance the accuracy of actuarial measures with non-White offenders.
Waldron, M. O. (2012). Comparing Static-99 Scores of Incarcerated White, Black, and Latino Sex Offenders. https://aura.antioch.edu/etds/839