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Offender Risk Assessment: Culture and Gender Considerations

The applicability of risk assessment tools to diverse offender populations is a relevant consideration for all criminal justice organizations. The primary benefit of structured risk assessment is that it enables the use of accumulated knowledge on risk factors to be reliably applied to individuals with accuracy, in order to predict future offending and, in turn, inform sentencing, custody security ratings, community release, supervision conditions, and treatment needs. However, one of the assumptions of standard risk assessments is that they apply equally to all offenders, even though they have primarily been developed on largely White male offenders. Therefore, their use with offenders of varied ethnic/racial, cultural backgrounds, and genders has been highly criticized. Some of the main considerations that fuel the conversation around the generalizability ...

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