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Diagnostic Reliability and Sex Offender Civil Commitment Evaluations: A Reply to Wollert (2007)

Author(s): Dennis M. Doren | Jill S. Levenson

Journal: Sexual Offender Treatment
ISSN 1862-2941

Volume: 4;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Keywords: diagnostic accuracy | sexual offenders | civil committment | reliability

A recent article by Richard Wollert (2007) purports to demonstrate that the diagnostic inter-rater reliability of sex offender civil commitment evaluations is not high enough to be worthy for courtroom testimony. That author relies on a series of analyses to support that argument. Unfortunately, those analyses were flawed in serious ways, raising doubt about the overall conclusions drawn. This article delineates Wollert’s inaccurate assumptions, addresses methodological flaws, and offers an alternative interpretation regarding the accuracy of sexual offender civil commitment assessments.
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