Mark E. Olver's research while affiliated with University of Saskatchewan and other places

Publications (160)

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Purpose of Review Incels (involuntary celibates) have recently garnered media attention for seemingly random attacks of violence. Much attention has centered around the misogynistic and violent discourse that has taken place in online incel forums as well as manifestos written by incels who have perpetrated deadly attacks. Such work overlooks the e...
Article
In Canada, individuals found not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder (NCR) fall under the supervision of a jurisdictional review board (RB) per the Criminal Code. Limited research has examined whether RB decisions balance the needs of public safety with social reintegration as intended by federal legislation. To fill this gap, the...
Article
There has been little study of animal sexual abuse (ASA). Subsequently, little is known about veterinary medical professionals' (e.g., Veterinarians, Veterinary Technicians, Veterinary Nurses) knowledge of ASA and how they may contribute to the prevention of ASA. Thus, the objective of this paper is to comprehensively study ASA in a sample of veter...
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Sexual interest in animals (zoophilia) is a scant investigated topic owing partially to difficulties in assessing the behavior outside of a clinical setting. While there have been previous attempts to categorize individuals with a sexual interest in animals into classification systems, this requires extensive clinical interviews and psychometric te...
Preprint
For scenarios involving female victims of sexual violence, attractiveness and, more specifically, body weight seem to have an effect on perceptions of victims and perpetrators. As it is assumed that sexual victimization is a result of sexual attraction to the victim by the perpetrator, female victims who are viewed as unattractive may not be seen a...
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This study examined the discrimination and calibration properties of the Violence Risk Appraisal Guide–Revised (VRAG-R) within a large subset of the population of 574 individuals who had been found Not Criminally Responsible on Account of Mental Disorder (NCRMD) in Alberta. The VRAG-R was scored on all individuals identified via The Alberta NCR Pro...
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Empirical evidence suggests that postsecondary students are disproportionately impacted by sexual violence. Further evidence suggests that most persons convicted of crimes involving sexual violence return to the community, and that social factors, including public policy and community members’ attitudes and perceptions, are key determinants of succ...
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Incels-a ragtag collection of young males who have rallied around their shared experience of romantic rejection-have slowly emerged as an online group of interest to researchers, no doubt as a result of several high-profile attacks. Much of this work has centered around incels' dating experiences, sexual attitudes, and online forums. However, it is...
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Incel refers to an online group of young males who feel frustration and despair at being repeatedly neglected on the dating market. Despite several high-profile attacks, the majority of incel research is comprised of qualitative analyses of their forums. This provides a good contextual overview of the incel community but does not capture the experi...
Preprint
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Purpose of review: Incels (involuntary celibates) have recently garnered media attention for seemingly random attacks of violence. Much attention has centered around the misogynistic and violent discourse that has taken place in online incel forums as well as manifestos written by incels who have perpetrated deadly attacks. Such work overlooks the...
Article
The present study features the development of new risk categories and recidivism estimates for the Violence Risk Scale (VRS), a violence risk assessment and treatment planning tool. We employed a combined North American multisite sample (k = 6, N = 1,338) of adult mostly male offenders, many with violent criminal histories, from correctional or for...
Article
Canadians adjudicated Not Criminally Responsible on Account of Mental Disorder (NCR) are detained in forensic psychiatric hospitals under a jurisdictional review board (RB) governed by the Canadian Criminal Code. The custody and management of NCR populations are administered independently across jurisdictions despite being federally legislated, and...
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Background Hypersexuality has been posited as the central defining feature of Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder, and although the acceptance and inclusion of this construct in psychiatric nosologies provides some legitimacy, concerns surrounding terminology, assessment, and diagnosis remain. Aim The present study was an independent psychometric...
Chapter
The treatment of psychopathy is a clinical conundrum that has long been the focus of debate and controversy. The people who bear the moniker “psychopath” have frequently been dubbed untreatable. But is this a fair or accurate portrayal, given the available evidence to date? This chapter provides an overview of issues, challenges, and evidence in th...
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Indeterminate detention (ID) is a high stakes sanction reserved for exceptionally high risk-high need (HRHN) persons who are deemed to pose an undue risk to public safety. It is one of the most extreme measures that is routinely taken by justice systems to manage sexual violence risk and prevent sexual and violent recidivism. Naturally, risk assess...
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Clinical psychology students and practitioners are conventionally advised to “cover up” their tattoos, as they may be deemed unprofessional by clients and risk hindering the working alliance. While this may seem reasonable on the surface, the only research available on the topic has focused on psychologists’ self-perceptions and perceptions of tatt...
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This study examined the Council of State Governments’ five-level system for risk communication, as applied to the Static-99R and Violence Risk Scale–Sexual Offense Version (VRS-SO). Aims of the system include increasing consistency in risk communication and linking risk categories to psychologically meaningful constructs. We investigated concordanc...
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The development and validation of sexual offense perpetrator typologies remains a useful endeavor with implications for theory and correctional/clinical practice. Most such typologies—which rely on factors such as the individual’s motivation for offending—have not been validated empirically. The current study utilized a validated sexual violence ri...
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The present study examined the predictive properties of three youth forensic measures-the Violence Risk Scale-Youth Version (VRS-YV), Structured Assessment of Violence Risk in Youth (SAVRY), and the Structured Assessment of Protective Factors-Youth Version (SAPROF-YV)-in a diverse court-adjudicated sample of 257 youth referred for assessment and in...
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The construct of psychopathy has received considerable attention from clinicians, researchers, and legal practitioners because of its demonstrated association with a range of outcomes of interest to the criminal justice system. The Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R) is generally regarded as the premier assessment tool for measuring psychopathy i...
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This study examined the predictive properties of the Ontario Domestic Assault Risk Assessment (ODARA) in a large Canadian, predominantly Indigenous, sample from a geographic region with the highest rates of intimate partner violence (IPV) in the country. A random stratified sample of 300 men (92.7% Indigenous) court adjudicated for an IPV offense w...
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Purpose of Review We review the issues, controversies, and main findings from the sexual violence risk assessment literature with Indigenous men. An argument is presented for the incorporation of structured and validated risk assessment measures as part of a comprehensive assessment to inform risk management and the prevention of sexual violence....
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Purpose of Review We review and synthesize the literature on the effectiveness of offense-focused treatment for sexual offending. Specifically, we consider whether the extant literature suggests treatment is effective in reducing sexual reoffending and features of effective interventions. We also consider how the design of program evaluations may i...
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Although research suggests that the d/Deaf individuals are overrepresented among forensic populations and unique challenges arise when working with such clients, there is a relative dearth of research examining the forensic assessment and treatment of d/Deaf individuals. Because the barriers and challenges faced by d/Deaf persons can lead to dimini...
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We examined the recidivism rates and the predictive validity of the Static-99R in 335 men who were detained or civilly committed and released from California State Hospitals pursuant to the Sexually Violent Predator (SVP) Act, and followed up for approximately 21 years from date of hospital admission. In all, 8.7% were arrested or convicted for a n...
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Despite the significant adverse consequences of deliberate firesetting, it has been unclear what proportion of individuals repeat this problematic behavior, owing to methodological differences and large variability in reported reoffending rates. A meta-analysis of 25 samples of untreated adults and children with a history of firesetting, examining...
Article
Objective: Psychopathy is a serious personality disorder reputed for resistance to correctional and forensic mental health treatment and synonymous with being high risk for different recidivism outcomes; it is not readily associated with an abundance of positive qualities or protective factors. Research has yet to examine the presence of protectiv...
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The current investigation was a prospective field validity study examining the discrimination and calibration properties of a general risk-need tool (Level of Service Inventory–Saskatchewan Youth Edition [LSI-Sk]) in a diverse sample of 284 court adjudicated youths, rated by their youth workers on the measure and followed up an average of 9.3 years...
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The present study is part of a larger project aiming to more closely integrate theory with empirical research into dynamic risk. It seeks to generate empirical findings with the dynamic risk factors contained in the Violence Risk Scale—Sexual Offense version (VRS-SO) that might constrain and guide the further development of Thornton’s theoretical m...
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Minor attracted persons (MAPs) represent a highly stigmatized population. While robust literatures exist linking stigma-related stressors to negative psychological sequalae in other stigmatized populations, the research examining stigma processes in MAPs has only recently begun to develop. The present study expands this area of research by examinin...
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The present study examined the association of juvenile psychopathy features and treatment response in a sample of 102 youth, court adjudicated for sexual offenses and followed up more than 11 years in the community. The Psychopathy Checklist: Youth Version (PCL: YV) was rated from comprehensive archival sources, along with a youth sexual offense ri...
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This study examined the psychometric, predictive, and dynamic properties of intimate partner violence (IPV) risk. The sample consisted of 88 men attending an outpatient IPV correctional program. The Ontario Domestic Assault Risk Assessment (ODARA) was rated at pretreatment using participant files. The Spousal Assault Risk Assessment–Version 3 (SARA...
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We examined the incremental contributions of static and dynamic sexual violence risk assessment in a multisite sample of 1,289 men treated for sexual offending. The study extends validation work that established new risk categories and recidivism estimates for the Violence Risk Scale–Sexual Offense version (VRS-SO), using the risk assessment common...
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Despite the common occurrence of sexual violence in intimate partner violence (IPV) and its association with increased risk of intimate partner homicide, intimate partner sexual violence (IPSV) is often overlooked in the literature. As a result, little is known about risk factors that may be unique to IPSV perpetrators. The present study utilizes a...
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General criminal attitudes have been well established as a dynamic risk factor for the origin, maintenance, and continuation of criminal behavior. Guided by the risk–need–responsivity (RNR) framework, this study examined self-reported change on a measure of general criminal attitudes in a sample of incarcerated men who participated in a sexual offe...
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The present research sought to examine the interrelations of emotion, crime characteristics, and self-reported psychopathy; and to examine criterion related validity of the Self-Report Psychopathy Scale Short-Form (SRP-SF). One hundred Canadian adult male offenders were interviewed with a series of structured questionnaires examining offense-relate...
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This chapter focuses on the role and relevance of personality‐based measures within the context of violence risk assessment. It provides an overview of the relevance of personality in violence risk assessment per the risk‐need‐responsivity (RNR) model. The chapter reviews relevant research and clinical applications of three sets of personality‐base...
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Pedophilic interest is a central risk factor for sexual offending against children. Multiple measures exist to assess pedophilic interest and the present study aims to provide validity evidence for three of these measures in a sample of men convicted of sexual offenses. The association between a phallometric test for pedophilic interest, the Screen...
Preprint
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Comprehensive reply to DeMatteo et al. 2020 in Psychology, Public Policy & Law provides evidence for the reliability and validity of the PCL-R in the assessment of risk for institutional violence.
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The present study examined the discrimination and calibration properties of Violence Risk Scale–Sexual Offense version (VRS-SO) risk and change scores for sexual and violent recidivism as a function of age at release, on a combined sample of 1,287 men who had attended sexual offense-specific treatment services. The key aim was to examine to what ex...
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Purpose of review: We provide a review and synthesis of the sexual offense treatment change literature with implications for dynamic sexual violence risk assessment and management. An argument is presented for the need for a dynamic approach in research and practice, and that for change to be prognostic, such changes need to be risk relevant and t...
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Purpose Relatively little research has been conducted with high‐risk violent (non‐sexual) offenders to establish whether measures administered to evaluate change during offending behaviour programmes contain risk relevant information. The present study aims to contribute to the evidence base relevant to decisions concerning whether or not psychomet...
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We examined the prevalence of hypersexuality in two combined Canadian adult community samples totalling 1,857 respondents (female n = 960, male n = 835, other n = 60, missing n = 2). Participants were recruited from social media to complete an online sexual behaviour survey that included two measures of compulsive sexual behaviour disorder— the Sex...
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Pedohebephilic interest is posited to be a key factor in why some individuals pursue sexual contact with children. Given the centrality of pedohebephilic interest, several interventions have been developed to help men manage or inhibit their sexual arousal to children (e.g., behavioral interventions) or to reduce the intensity of their experience o...
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The present study examined the assessment of protective factors and their linkages to treatment change, institutional and community recidivism, and positive community outcomes in a high-risk treated sample of violent male offenders. Participants included 178 federally incarcerated adult male violent offenders who participated in a high-intensity vi...
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The present study examined latent constructs of dynamic sexual violence risk and need, as measured by the Violence Risk Scale-Sexual Offense version (VRS-SO), as a function of Indigenous ancestry among a Canadian federal sample of 1,063 treated men convicted for a sexual offense. Multigroup confirmatory factor analysis of VRS-SO dynamic items ratin...
Article
Objective: The present study is an extension and update of Olver, Nicholaichuk, Kingston, and Wong's (2014) prospective multisite examination of sexual violence risk and treatment change on a large federal Canadian sample of 570 treated sexual offenders rated pretreatment and posttreatment on the Violence Risk Scale-Sexual Offense version (VRS-SO)...
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Psychiatric diagnoses, static risk factors, and criminogenic needs at time of admission and release were examined in a mentally ill sample of psychiatrically detained sexual offenders. Although clinically found to be at low or even very low risk at discharge, 12% reoffended sexually over an average follow-up of 7 years. Psychotic disorders were pre...
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The present study examined intimacy and loneliness, their etiological significance in sexual offending, viability as a treatment target, and their correlates with relevant psychological constructs and outcomes in a treated sample of 348 men convicted for sexual offenses. Factor analyses of the Revised UCLA Loneliness Scale and Miller Social Intimac...
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We examined the structural and predictive properties of the Violence Risk Scale-Sexual Offense (VRS-SO) version in an Austrian sample of N = 666 men incarcerated for sexual offenses; 353 of whom were followed up an average of 11 years post-release. Results of a confirmatory factor analysis of dynamic item scores supported a three-factor model (Sexu...
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How individual risk factors on structured professional judgement (SPJ) assessment tools translate into SPJ final risk formulations is unclear due to a lack of structured criteria. Understanding pathways to risk formulations is vital, as they serve as intervention targets for risk management. This study examined how Historical Clinical Risk Manageme...
Article
The present study examined the validity and reliability of a youth sexual offense risk assessment and treatment planning tool, the Violence Risk Scale–Youth Sexual Offense Version (VRS-YSO), on a sample of 102 court-adjudicated youth referred to assessment and/or treatment outpatient services followed up an average of 11.7 years in the community. V...
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A meta-analysis was conducted to examine whether specialized psychological offense treatments were associated with reductions in offense specific and non-offense specific recidivism. Staff and treatment program moderators were also explored. The review examined 70 studies and 55,604 individuals who had offended. Three specialized treatments were ex...
Article
In the context of this chapter, risk denotes assessments of recidivism probability and/or severity to inform service intensity, while need denotes identifying areas for intervention which, if successful, will reduce risk. Risk and need assessments are conducted in a number of different forensic contexts at all stages of criminal justice proceedings...
Article
This study evaluated the predictive validity of structured instruments for violent recidivism among a sample of 82 patients discharged from a maximum security forensic psychiatric hospital. The incremental predictive validity of dynamic pre–post change scores was also assessed. Each of the Historical-Clinical-Risk Management-20 Version 3 (HCR-20V3)...
Article
The present investigation examined Risk-Need-Responsivity (RNR) correlates of Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI) scores in a sample (N = 377) of offenders with diverse criminal histories. It was hypothesized that PAI scales with content reflective of criminogenic needs would be associated with recidivism while those indicative of major mental i...
Article
There has always been an interest in correctional treatment, beginning with Martinson’s controversial “nothing works” doctrine to the more recent risk, need, and responsivity principles. Recently this interest has expanded beyond if treatment works, but how much is necessary. Framed as treatment dosage, there is a now “best practice” suggestion tha...
Chapter
This chapter provides an overview of the assessment and treatment of adult violent offenders, theory, research, and clinical practice. The topic of coverage features general violence, specifically, crimes against the person that may involve any physical, threatened, or psychological harm, excluding sexually motivated crimes or intimate partner viol...
Chapter
Psychopathy is a serious personality disorder marked by a constellation of stable and problematic interpersonal, affective, and behavioral characteristics. High scores on the tool most frequently used to assess psychopathy, the Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R; Hare, Manual for the revised psychopathy checklist. Multi-Health Systems, Toron...
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The present study examined the latent structure of pedophilic interest. Using data from phallometric tests for pedophilic interest across four samples of offenders (ns = 805, 632, 531, 261), taxometric analyses were conducted to identify whether pedophilic interest is best characterized as taxonic or dimensional. Across the samples, the majority of...
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We examined the latent structure and taxonicity of hypersexuality in large university and community samples of male and female respondents. Participants completed the Hypersexual Behavior Inventory (HBI) and Sexual Compulsivity Scale (SCS), each as part of larger anonymous online surveys of sexual behavior. Exploratory factor analyses (EFA) were pe...
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This article describes an evaluation of the effects of an early version (1991-2001) of Rockwood's prison-based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy/Risk-Needs-Responsivity (CBT/RNR) sex offender program that had emerging elements of a strength-based approach. This program was implemented under contract to Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) and continued...
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We examined the predictive properties of the Level of Service Inventory–Ontario Revision (LSI-OR) in a sample of 604 provincially incarcerated men with mental illness from a correctional mental health facility followed up nearly 2 years after release. Recidivism base rates and LSI-OR scores were relatively consistent across major mental disorder ca...
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Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine sexual offender treatment responses as a function of psychopathy subtype. Design/methodology/approach Measures of sexual violence risk, treatment change and outcome variables were coded retrospectively on a sample of 86 high Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R) scoring sexual offenders. Psychopath...
Article
The present study featured an investigation of the predictive properties of risk and change scores of two violence risk assessment and treatment planning tools—the Violence Risk Scale (VRS) and the Historical, Clinical, Risk–20, Version 2 (HCR-20)—in sample of 178 treated adult male violent offenders who attended a high-intensity violence reduction...
Article
The present study examined the association of psychopathy, measured by the Hare Psychopathy Checklist—Revised (PCL-R; Hare, 1991, 2003), to sexual offender treatment completion, change, and recidivism in a Canadian sample of 302 treated sexual offenders followed up in the community 17.6 years post release. Sexual violence risk and treatment change...
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Background Interventions for offenders with mental illness have tended to be confined to treatment of illness, with the expectation that symptom reduction will be accompanied by reduced criminal recidivism, but recent evidence suggests that other treatment targets may be more effective against recidivism. Aim The aim of this study was to examine t...
Article
Linear care plans have traditionally been used in nursing education to support nursing students in identifying potential and actual health care problems, and to follow up on those issues with nursing interventions. However, the linear care plan does not support the nursing student with learning in-depth critical thinking, clinical reasoning, creati...
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The present study sought to develop updated risk categories and recidivism estimates for the Violence Risk Scale-Sexual Offense version (VRS-SO; Wong, Olver, Nicholaichuk, & Gordon, 2003-2017), a sexual offender risk assessment and treatment planning tool. The overarching purpose was to increase the clarity and accuracy of communicating risk assess...
Article
The present study featured an examination of the predictive properties of the Violence Risk Appraisal Guide–Revised (VRAG-R) in a treated sample of sexual offenders, using modern risk metrics. The Sex Offender Risk Appraisal Guide (SORAG) and the original Violence Risk Appraisal Guide (VRAG) were examined for comparison purposes. The three measures...
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This prospective study investigated the predictive validity of five structured risk/forensic instruments for inpatient violence risk in a secure forensic hospital. Episodes of inpatient violence and the following instruments were each coded from hospital files: Historical Clinical Risk Management 20 – Version 3 (HCR-20V3), Psychopathy Checklist Rev...
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The present study examined the psychometric properties of Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R; Hare, 2003) scores in a multisite sample of 1,163 federally incarcerated Canadian indigenous and non-indigenous offenders from the Prairie Region of the Correctional Service of Canada. The research occurred against the backdrop of the Ewert v. Canad...
Article
The present investigation examined the risk, need, and responsivity (RNR) correlates of MMPI-2 scores in a Canadian sample of 349 federally incarcerated sex offenders, followed up prospectively 19 years post-release. In terms of responsivity indicators, more serious profile patterns were associated with younger age, single marital status, lower edu...
Article
The present study examined the association of psychiatric symptomatology, criminal attitudes, and treatment changes within these domains to violent and general recidivism in a sample of 614 mentally disordered offenders. Significant pre–post changes were found on multiple measures of criminal attitudes, symptomatology, and readiness for change. Ant...
Article
This study examined the interrelationship of treatment readiness, responsivity variables, and treatment change to sexual offender treatment outcome, featuring the Treatment Readiness, Responsivity, and Gain Scale: Short Version (TRRG:SV). The sample was composed of 185 Canadian federal offenders who attended a high-intensity sexual offender treatme...
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Purpose The purpose of this paper is to note the basis for the emergence of strength-based approaches (SBA) to the treatment of sex offenders and point to Tony Ward’s Good Lives Model (GLM) as the impetus for these developments. Design/methodology/approach Next, the authors outline the elements of the GLM and of other SBAs. The features of various...
Article
Improvements in the risk prediction of domestic violence against intimate partners have the potential to inform policing practices in the prevention of further victimization. The present study examined the incremental predictive validity of 3 measures of risk for intimate partner violence (IPV)—Spousal Assault Risk Assessment (SARA), Ontario Domest...
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The present study analyzed crime survey data extracted from the 2012 Saskatchewan Taking the Pulse survey on a sample of 1,700 adult Saskatchewan residents. The focus was on examining perceptions of crime trends, perceived effectiveness of various methods for controlling crime, and their sociodemographic correlates. The majority of survey responden...
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The present study examined the working alliance, as measured by the full-length Working Alliance Inventory (WAI), and its association with psychopathy, treatment completion, and recidivism in a sample of 111 incarcerated adult male sexual offenders. The men completed the WAI 3 months into their treatment program, while psychopathy was measured via...
Article
Research on recidivism prediction has made important advances, but the same cannot be said of research assessing relationships between risk changes over time or after treatment and subsequent reoffending. In realistic criminal justice situations, data linking changes in risk to recidivism are often fraught with problems due to missing data, irregul...
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Psychopathic offenders are a notoriously challenging population to treat, who are often recalcitrant to change and at high risk for program non-completion and recidivism. The present work is a review and synthesis of the evidence, issues, and controversies in the treatment of psychopathic offenders. The operationalization and measurement of the con...
Chapter
This chapter provides a discussion and review of the assessment of change in sexual offenders, in research and practice. We begin by situating the assessment of change within the context of the risk–need–responsivity framework. We then provide an overview of some important conceptual, methodological, and statistical considerations in the evaluation...