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The Importance of the STATIC-99 and MnsSOST-R

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Introduction
The federal and state governments have laws which permit for the legal confinement of sex offenders deemed to pose a risk to themselves or others. In Kansas v. Hendricks (1997), the U.S. Supreme Court set forth the following criteria potential offenders must satisfy in order to be civilly committed: 1) a past of committing sexual offenses; 2) a mental disorder or impairment; 3) some form of volitional impairment; and 4) a significant risk of committing a sexual offense in the future. In order to satisfy the fourth criteria, governments have implemented the use of Actuarial Risk Assessment Instruments (ARAIs) such as the Static-99 and the Minnesota Sex Offender Screening Tool-Revised (MnSOST-R) (Miller, Amenta, & Conroy, 2005).
A study by Boccaccini, Murrie, Caperton, and Hawes (2009) examines the reliance upon the STATIC-99 and MnSOST-R during a Texas screening process for sexual offenders to be civilly committed. The study sought to expand upon the minimal knowledge known of the predictive validity of the STATIC-99 and MsSOST-R in determining whether sexual offenders will recidivate upon release from incarceration. Firstly, the study focused on whether scores sex offenders received on the ARAIswere associated with their progress through the state's sexually violent predator civil commitment process: in essence, whether high scores on the ARAIs correlated with the officials’ decision to promote sexual offenders to the next step of the evaluation process.
Second, the researchers inquired into the predictive validity of the ARAIs in determining the rate of recidivism among non-committed offenders who had a minimum of 2.25 years to reoffend. The researchers also investigated the importance of local validity stud...

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... the commitment process cannot rely solely on the scores from these ARAIs when making civil commitment decisions for sexual offenders. Factors such as age and past criminal history must be evaluated alongside these ARAIs to make a final determination. Furthermore, clinicians must create and evaluate local data when interpreting the results of the ARAIs.

Works Cited

Boccaccini, M.T., Murrie, D.C., Caperton, J.D., & Hawes, S.W. (2009). Field validity of the STATIC-99 and MnSOST-R among sex offenders evaluated for civil commitment as sexually violent predators. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 15(4), 278-314. doi: 10.1037/a0017232
Miller, H. A., Amenta, A. E., & Conroy, M. A. (2005). Sexually violent predator evaluations: Empirical evidence, strategies for professionals, and research directions.
Law and Human Behavior, 29, 29–54. doi: 10.1007/s10979-005-1398-y
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