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How do static and dynamic risk factors work together to predict violent behaviour among offenders with an intellectual disability?

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Abstract

Background

Research on risk assessment with offenders with an intellectual disability (ID) has largely focused on estimating the predictive accuracy of static or dynamic risk assessments, or a comparison of the two approaches. The aim of this study was to explore how static and dynamic risk variables may ‘work together’ to predict violent behaviour.

Methods

Data from 212 offenders with an ID were analysed. Risk assessment tools included one static measure (Violence Risk Appraisal Guide), and two dynamic measures (Emotional Problems Scale and the Short Dynamic Risk Scale). Six-month concurrent prediction data on violent behaviour were collected. A structured methodology was employed to explore putative relationships between static and dynamic factors.

Results

Static risk factors temporally preceded dynamic ones, and were shown to dominate both dynamic measures, while there was a non-zero relationship between the static and the two dynamic measures. According to Kraemer et al., these findings suggest that dynamic risk factors function as proxy risk factors for static risk.

Conclusions

Dynamic and static risk factors appear to capture elements of the same underlying risk associated with violent behaviour in individuals with an ID. This is the first study to empirically explore risk interrelationships in the forensic ID field. We discuss the importance of the contribution of dynamic variables in the prediction and management of risk.

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