Preprint available in PsyArXiv
Objective: Review current research on risk assessment tools with individuals convicted of child sexual exploitation materials (CSEM) offenses with recommendations for use in forensic, correctional, and legal settings.
Objective: Review current research on risk assessment tools with individuals convicted of child sexual exploitation materials (CSEM) offenses with recommendations for use in forensic, correctional, and legal settings. Hypotheses: Multiple tools would be defensible to use with individuals convicted of CSEM offenses. Methods: We discuss a minimum threshold of predictive accuracy to justify using a risk tool as an improvement on the typical level of accuracy expected from unstructured professional judgment. Then beyond this minimum threshold, we offer additional considerations that researchers and practitioners can use in evaluating and selecting risk tools. Results: We identified eight risk assessment tools with predictive accuracy research on individuals convicted of CSEM offenses: the Child Pornography Offender Risk Tool (CPORT), Risk Matrix 2000/Sex (RM2000/S), OASys Sexual Reoffending Predictor – Indecent Images (OSP/I), Static-99R, STABLE-2007, ACUTE-2007, Post Conviction Risk Assessment (PCRA), and the Level of Service Inventory – Ontario Revision (LSI-OR). We review each using the evaluation considerations. Conclusions: The CPORT, RM2000/S, STABLE-2007, and ACUTE-2007 (in conjunction with the STABLE) are all defensible tools to use for assessing risk of any sexual recidivism or CSEM recidivism specifically. There is preliminary evidence suggesting some support for Static-99R, but it may not be the ideal choice. The OSP/I consists of a single risk factor and considers risk of CSEM recidivism among all individuals convicted of sexual offenses, not only among individuals convicted of CSEM offenses. The PCRA and LSIOR general recidivism risk tools have some empirical support in predicting general recidivism among CSEM samples (and sexual recidivism for the PCRA), with limitations noted. The use of multiple tools may have value in assessing risk and structuring management in CSEM cases, however how they are best combined for these samples is still unclear. We expect research in this area to continue to build rapidly.