Effectiveness of a risk–need–responsivity-based treatment program for violent and sexual offenders : Results of a retrospective, quasi-experimental study
2018-02, Seewald, Katharina, Rossegger, Astrid, Gerth, Juliane, Urbaniok, Frank, Phillips, Gary, Endrass, Jérôme
Relapse prevention is an important goal in correctional settings. Although there is strong evidence for the effectiveness of certain treatment programs for juvenile offenders, those for adults lack such evidence. This study evaluated the effectiveness of a risk–need–responsivity (RNR)-based intervention.
A quasi-experimental, observational study design and cox regression analysis were used to compare treated violent and sexual offenders (n = 171) with untreated offenders (n = 241).
Both groups were observed for an average of 7.9 years. Recidivism rates of treated offenders (11.7%, n = 20) were similar to those of control offenders (15.8%, n = 38; p = .25). When controlling for confounding variables, the hazard of recidivism in the treatment group was 5.2% lower than that in the control group. Subdividing the treatment group resulted in lower hazard ratios for offenders still in therapy when released and offenders cancelling therapy. However, none of the group differences was statistically significant.
Our results show that control and RNR-based treatment groups had comparable recidivism rates with a trend towards a positive treatment effect, especially for people in outpatient treatment. However, criminal history, age at the start of follow-up, and actuarial risk of recidivism were significantly associated with recidivism. Future research needs to apply elaborate methodological approaches to detect robust treatment effects and consider different criteria of treatment effectiveness. Furthermore, the influence of prison climate, motivational factors, intervention quality, and factors supporting the success of outpatient treatment should be considered in future studies of larger offender samples.
Current Obstacles in Replicating Risk Assessment Findings : A Systematic Review of Commonly Used Actuarial Instruments
2013-01, Rossegger, Astrid, Gerth, Juliane, Seewald, Katharina, Urbaniok, Frank, Singh, Jay P., Endrass, Jérôme
An actuarial risk assessment instrument can be considered valid if independent investigations using novel samples can replicate the findings of the instrument's development study. In order for a study to qualify as a replication, it has to adhere to the methodological protocol of the development study with respect to key design characteristics, as well as ensuring that manual-recommended guidelines of test administration have been followed.
A systematic search was conducted to identify predictive validity studies (N = 84) on three commonly used actuarial instruments: the Violence Risk Appraisal Guide (VRAG), the Sex Offender Risk Appraisal Guide (SORAG), and the Static-99. Sample (sex, age, criminal history) and design (follow-up, attrition, recidivism) characteristics, as well as markers of assessment integrity (scoring reliability, item omissions, prorating procedure), were extracted from 84 studies comprising 108 samples.
None of the replications matched the development study of the instrument they were attempting to cross-validate with respect to key sample and design characteristics. Furthermore none of the replications strictly followed the manual-recommended guidelines for the instruments’ administration.
Additional replication studies that follow the methodological protocols outlined in actuarial instruments’ development studies are needed before claims of generalizability can be made.
Assessing the risk of intimate partner violence : expert evaluations versus the Ontario Domestic Assault Risk Assessment
2017, Seewald, Katharina, Rossegger, Astrid, Urbaniok, Frank, Endrass, Jérôme
In the forensic field, a reliable and valid assessment of domestic perpetrators who pose a high risk of reassaulting an intimate partner is needed to implement effective risk management strategies. The purpose of the present study was to examine the accuracy of two violence risk assessment methods in identifying high-risk perpetrators of IPV, comparing forensic experts with psychology students. For a cohort (n = 30) of domestic violent cases that required an expert evaluation in the Canton of Zurich in Switzerland, violence risk was assessed by certified forensic psychiatrists using unstructured clinical judgment (UCJ) and by undergraduate and graduate research assistants scoring the actuarial Ontario Domestic Assault Risk Assessment (ODARA) instrument. After a mean follow-up period of 8.0 years, the base rate of violent recidivism was 20.0%. Students were significantly more accurate than clinical experts in assessing long-term violent recidivism (AUC = 0.78 vs. 0.44). Raters without extensive clinical training could differentiate those spouses who carried on assaulting their intimate partner from those who desisted from violent behavior. Potential explanations are clinical assessment biases and the mediating effect of interventions. Further research should address the lack of use of mechanical instruments in clinical forensic practice.
Psychopathologie von Amokläufern : ein systematischer Vergleich der Täterprofile von Erwachsenen-Amok, Schul-Amok und Selbstmordattentaten
2014, Giebel, Gilda, Rossegger, Astrid, Seewald, Katharina, Endrass, Jérôme
Der Begriff des Amoks wird für unterschiedliche Formen von zielgerichteter Gewalt verwendet, die sich gegen mehrere Personen richtet. Schul-Amok, Arbeitsplatz-Amok und terroristische Selbstmordattentate beschreiben spezifische Formen des Amoks. Wenngleich Amoktaten vergleichbar seltene Ereignisse darstellen, sind, nicht zuletzt aufgrund der medialen Verbreitung, die gesellschaftlichen Auswirkungen hoch. Dementsprechend hat die Früherkennung von potenziellen Amoktätern und die Verhinderung entsprechender Delikte eine große gesellschaftspolitische Relevanz. Unter Gesichtspunkten der Prävention kommt der Frage nach psychiatrischen Auffälligkeiten der Täter eine besondere Bedeutung zu. Vorliegende Übersichtsarbeit stellt eine systematische Aufarbeitung empirischer Befunde über die Psychopathologie von Amoktätern dar.