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Cross-Cultural Validity of Sexual Recidivism Risk Assessments Using Static-99R, STABLE-2007, and the VRS-SO.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The overrepresentation of certain racial/ethnic groups in criminal legal systems raises concerns about the cross-cultural application of risk assessment tools. We provide a framework for conceptualizing and measuring racial bias/fairness and review research for three tools assessing risk of sexual recidivism: Static-99R, STABLE-2007, and VRS-SO.

RECENT FINDINGS: Most cross-cultural research examines Static-99R and generally supports its use with Black, White, Hispanic, and Asian men. Preliminary research also supports STABLE-2007 with Asian men. Findings are most concerning for Indigenous men, where Static-99R and STABLE-2007 significantly predict sexual recidivism, but with significantly and meaningfully lower accuracy compared to White men. For the VRS-SO and the combined Static-99R/STABLE-2007 risk levels, predictive accuracy was not significantly lower for Indigenous men, for which we discuss several possible explanations. We offer considerations for risk scale selection with Indigenous men and highlight recent guidance produced for cross-cultural risk assessment.

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