Dr Caroline Spiranovic1
1Faculty of Law, College of Arts, Law & Education, University Of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia
The majority of risk assessment tools used to predict recidivism in Australian sex offenders have been developed on predominantly Northern American populations of sex offenders. The extent to which these tools are appropriate for use with sex offenders in general is hotly debated but there is general consensus that if these tools are to be used, they should at least be validated through empirical research involving the populations of offenders on which they are applied. The Static-99-R (Phenix, Fernandez, Harris et al., 2017) in particular is the most widely used risk assessment tool by correctional service agencies for predicting recidivism in Australian sex offenders. A team of Australian researchers have partnered with correctional service agencies in each jurisdiction of Australia to generate an Australian evidence base on risk assessment of sex offenders. A major research question is the extent to which the Static-99-R is valid for use with Australian sex offenders (particularly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sex offenders). In this presentation, we report on; (a) where we have got to in developing a national sex offender recidivism database for Australia, and (b) the preliminary findings on the validity and norms for the Static-99-R with Australian sex offenders.
Caroline Spiranovic is a Senior lecturer in Law at the University of Tasmania where she is currently working as part of three separate multi-disciplinary teams on Australian Research Council funded projects focusing on public opinion on sex offender sentencing, prediction of sexual offender risk and methods of preventing viewing of child exploitation material online. Caroline completed her PhD in Psychology in 2007 focusing on child sex offender typologies. Her research and teaching interests lie broadly in the disciplines of psychology, law and criminology with a focus on violent (particularly sexual) offending.