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Developing a risk/need assessment tool for women offenders: a gender-informed approach

Developing a risk/need assessment tool for women offenders: a gender-informed approach Recently, correctional agencies have argued that there are differences between factors influencing men and women’s involvement in the criminal justice system. The purpose of this paper is to examine the validity of a gender-informed risk/need assessment tool.Design/methodology/approachThe sample consisted of 620 women offenders admitted to federal Canadian custody, as well as a matched-comparison group of 647 men. Items were selected from routine assessments in an administrative database based on an extensive literature review of factors related to criminal risk for women.FindingsResults showed that the items included in this assessment and the overall rating of risk/need significantly predicted any return to custody for both women and men. As well, ratings incrementally predicted any return to custody over and above other established tools.Practical implicationsThe gender-informed risk/need assessment tool, informed by the literature, performed well for both men and women. The research highlights the complementary, not competing, perspectives of gender-neutral and gender-responsive risk and need factors.Originality/valueFactors commonly considered gender-salient predicted risk for men and women. The present study demonstrates that risk assessments tools for men and women should look beyond the factors routinely assessed in the research to identify novel dynamic factors that contribute to risk for men and women and could be targeted for intervention. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice Emerald Publishing

Developing a risk/need assessment tool for women offenders: a gender-informed approach

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
2056-3841
DOI
10.1108/jcrpp-03-2019-0017
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Recently, correctional agencies have argued that there are differences between factors influencing men and women’s involvement in the criminal justice system. The purpose of this paper is to examine the validity of a gender-informed risk/need assessment tool.Design/methodology/approachThe sample consisted of 620 women offenders admitted to federal Canadian custody, as well as a matched-comparison group of 647 men. Items were selected from routine assessments in an administrative database based on an extensive literature review of factors related to criminal risk for women.FindingsResults showed that the items included in this assessment and the overall rating of risk/need significantly predicted any return to custody for both women and men. As well, ratings incrementally predicted any return to custody over and above other established tools.Practical implicationsThe gender-informed risk/need assessment tool, informed by the literature, performed well for both men and women. The research highlights the complementary, not competing, perspectives of gender-neutral and gender-responsive risk and need factors.Originality/valueFactors commonly considered gender-salient predicted risk for men and women. The present study demonstrates that risk assessments tools for men and women should look beyond the factors routinely assessed in the research to identify novel dynamic factors that contribute to risk for men and women and could be targeted for intervention.

Journal

Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and PracticeEmerald Publishing

Published: Nov 20, 2019

Keywords: Risk assessment; Risk; Scale validation; Women offenders; Gender-informed; Gender-responsive

References