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Actuarial Prediction of Juvenile Recidivism: The Static Variables of the Juvenile Sex Offender Assessment Protocol-II (J-SOAP-II)

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Author(s): Amanda B. Powers-Sawyer | Michael H. Miner

Journal: Sexual Offender Treatment
ISSN 1862-2941

Volume: 4;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 2;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Keywords: risk assessment | juvenile sex offender | adolescent | recidivism | J-SOAP-II

ABSTRACT
Sexual offending among youth retains a great deal of attention from public policy decision-makers in the juvenile justice system despite the low rate at which juveniles sexually reoffend. Within the judicial system, evaluators are faced with the challenge of answering questions from the court regarding sexual recidivism potential and corresponding treatment placements. Empirical investigations link empirically supported and promising risk factors to sexual reoffending among juveniles across several studies. However, there is little cumulative evidence for strong predictive strength among risk assessment tools for juvenile sexual recidivism. We found the static variables of the Juvenile Sex Offender Assessment Protocol-II to have strong predictive accuracy for sexual recidivism (AUC=.75) among 7 sexual recidivists in a sample of 96 juvenile sex offenders. The J-SOAP-II was a poor predictor for non-sexual violent recidivism and non-sexual general recidivism. Additionally, we found that the predictive accuracy of the J-SOAP-II is stronger for the sex drive/preoccupation scale (AUC=.72) than the impulsive/anti-social behavior scale (AUC=.64). These data provide preliminary evidence for the predictive validity of the J-SOAP-II and indicate much of the predictive power is due to the measure of sexual drive rather than impulsivity.
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