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Offender Risk Assessment: Use of the Professional Override

The underlying assumption of the professional override when applied to offender risk assessment is simple. After completing a structured, statistically based or actuarial assessment on a specific individual, the professional who is conducting the assessment may have what is believed to be additional, relevant information that was not taken into consideration when conducting the structured assessment. This occurs when the information is not relevant to the scoring of any of the instrument’s items. The question then is, can or should the professional make some kind of adjustment to the statistically derived results of the assessment? This is known as the professional override. This entry describes the background behind the professional override, its position in the history of offender risk assessment development, and the elusive ...

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