Michael Miner, PhD, will be the principal investigator on a new five-year research grant from the National Institutes of Justice of the Department of Justice totaling $1.5 million. The aim of the project is to conduct a rigorous analysis of the utility of a newly developed, dynamic risk factor assessment for sexual offenders, Sex Offender Treatment Intervention and Progress Scale (SOTIPS).
For over a decade, risk detection for sexual offenders has been the domain of static actuarial instruments. By adding dynamic factors to a risk assessment, specifically ones that have been linked to risk of reoffending and are amenable to treatment, has the potential to greatly improve our ability to assess risk, and changes in risk, over time. At the same time, it can improve treatment by systematically tracking progress, and identifying areas for intervention.
"This project could result in a major step forward in sex offender management, in that we may identify an empirically valid method for tracking changes in risk status. This will allow for a more nuanced strategy toward sex offender management, since intervention intensity could be modified as predicted offender risk changes over time," said Miner.
On January 2, 2013, researchers at the PHS will begin working with sex offender treatment and management systems in New York City, NY, and Maricopa County, AZ, to collect data on 500 sexual offenders in treatment at each location, interview directors of treatment programs, and conduct focus groups with treatment providers and probation/parole agents. Follow-up data will assess sexual recidivism, non-sexual violent recidivism, any recidivism, returns to confinement, and violations of conditional release (parole or probation).
Miner's research team includes Bean Robinson, PhD (co-investigator), Chris Hoefer (project coordinator), Cathy Strobel (research staff), Karl Hanson, PhD (consultant from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada), and David Thornton, PhD (consultant from Mauston, Wisconsin).
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