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Sex Offender Needs Assessment Rating (SONAR)

Now primarily of historical interest, the Sex Offender Needs Assessment Rating (SONAR) was the first focused attempt to assess change in sexual offenders based on dynamic risk factors. Dynamic risk factors are personal skill deficits, predilections, and learned behaviors correlated with sexual recidivism that can be changed through a process of “effortful intervention” (i.e., treatment or supervision). It was theorized that if such intervention reduced these risk-relevant factors, there would be a concomitant reduction in the likelihood that the offender would recidivate with another sexual crime. The SONAR demonstrated adequate internal consistency and a moderate ability to differentiate sexual recidivists from nonrecidivists (r = .43; ROC [receiver operating characteristic] area of .74).

As the 1990s drew to a close, the profession was making ever increasing use ...

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