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Thornton, David

The effectiveness of various sex offender classification instruments is investigated. This research is important in determining the best practices driving the success of sex offender management classification systems allowing you to utilize the best tool in your jurisdiction. Sections of this report include: abstract; executive summary; introduction; research design and methods; results regarding the respective abilities of nationally recommended Adam Walsh Act (AWA) classification tiers and actuarial risk assessment instruments to identify high-risk sex offenders, the risk assessment efficacy of existing state classification schemes compared to the AWA tiers and risk assessment instruments, the distribution of risk assessment scores within and across AWA tier categories, and the role of adult offender age in risk and recidivism; and discussion regarding implications for policy and practice. "The findings indicate that the current AWA classification scheme is likely to result in a system that is less effective in protecting the public than the classification systems currently implemented in the states studied. Policy makers should strongly consider substantial revisions of the AWA classification system to better incorporate evidence-based models of sex offender risk assessment and management" (p. 1).

A Multi-State Recidivism Study Using Static-99R and Static-2002 Risk Scores and Tier Guidelines from the Adam Walsh Act Cover
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