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The ability to predict the likelihood of criminals returning to crime is vital to those responsible for determining the release and management of offenders (Andrews & Bonta, ). Bonta, Law, and Hanson assert that it is now possible to accurately assess the risk of offending "especially...when predictions are based on actuarially derived information rather than professional and clinical judgement" (p.124). Measures such as previous offences, age, income and drug or alcohol dependency have been used successfully to predict criminal behaviour (, 2003; Blackburn, 1993; Bonta et al., Webster & Bailes, 2004). Despite this evidence many violent offenders are still being assessed using professional judgement rather than by actuarial measures (Polaschek .

References

Andrews, D. A., & Bonta, J. (2003). The psychology of criminal conduct (3rd ed.). Cincinnati, OH: Anderson Publishing.

Blackburn, R. (1993). The psychology of criminal conduct: Theory, research and practice. Chichester: Wiley.

Bonta, J., Law, M., & Hanson, K. (1998). The prediction of criminal and violent recidivism among mentally disordered offenders: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 123, 123-142.

Polaschek, D. L. L., & Reynolds, N. (2004). Assessment and treatment: Violent offenders. In C. R. Hollin (Ed.), The essential handbook of offender assessment and treatment (pp. 201-218). Chichester: Wiley.

Webster, C. D., & Bailes, G. (2004). Assessing violence risk. In C. R. Hollin (Ed.), The essential handbook of offender assessment and treatment (pp. 1-13). Chichester: Wiley.


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