Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment [saj] pp1085-sebu-478692 April 6, 2004 19:6 Style ﬁle version Nov 28th, 2002
Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, Vol. 16, No. 2, April 2004 (
Accuracy of Actuarial Procedures for Assessment
of Sexual Offender Recidivism Risk May Vary
Little is known about whether the accuracy of tools for assessment of sexual
offender recidivism risk holds across ethnic minority offenders. I investigated the
predictive validity across ethnicity for the RRASOR and the Static-99 actuarial
risk assessment procedures in a national cohort of all adult male sex offenders
released from prison in Sweden 1993–1997. Subjects ordered out of Sweden upon
release fromprisonwere excludedand remaining subjects (N = 1303) divided into
three subgroups based on citizenship. Eighty-three percent of the subjects were of
Nordic ethnicity, and non-Nordic citizens were either of non-Nordic European
(n = 49, hereafter called European) or African Asian descent (n = 128). The
two tools were equally accurate among Nordic and European sexual offenders
for the prediction of any sexual and any violent nonsexual recidivism. In contrast,
neither measure could differentiate African Asian sexual or violent recidivists from
nonrecidivists. Compared toEuropean offenders, AfricanAsianoffenders had more
often sexually victimized a nonrelative or stranger, had higher Static-99 scores,
were younger, more often single, and more often homeless. The results require
replication, but suggest that the promising predictive validity seen with some risk
assessment tools may not generalize across offender ethnicity or migration status.
More speculatively, different risk factors or causal chains might be involved in
the development or persistence of offending among minority or immigrant sexual
KEY WORDS: ethnicity; sexual offenders; risk assessment; criminal recidivism.
Centre for Violence Prevention, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
To whom correspondence should beaddressedat Centre for Violence Prevention, KarolinskaInstitutet,
P.O. Box 23000, S-104 35 Stockholm, Sweden; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
2004 Plenum Publishing Corporation