Sexual recidivism risk assessments are increasingly required in all aspects of behavioral health and correctional decision-making. This ATSA Master Class will provide an introduction to the assessment and communication of sexual recidivism risk with a strong emphasis on the evidence-based underpinnings of current practice recommendations. The first section of this training will cover the basic foundations of risk assessment including the underlying nature of risk, the history of risk assessment, types of risk factors for sexual recidivism, the development of risk assessment tools, and research on the most commonly used tools in contemporary practice. The second section will review current controversies in the field, such as the existence of protective risk factors and adversarial allegiance. This section will also include discuss how best to select a risk assessment tool, how to maximize the quality of risk assessments, how best to communicate the findings of risk assessments, and how to evaluate changes in risk over time. Finally, the third section of this training will discuss clinical issues in conducting sexual recidivism risk assessments, including how to conduct a comprehensive risk assessment, how to match risk assessment findings with risk management interventions, and how to write a risk assessment report.
L. Maaike Helmus, PhD is the Director of Research for the Global Institute of Forensic Research. Winner of the prestigious Governor General’s Gold Medal for her work in sexual offender risk assessment, Dr. Helmus has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards from organizations including the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. She has also served on the Executive Boards of both the Criminal Justice Section of the Canadian Psychological Association and ATSA. She is part of the development team for Static-99R, Static-2002R, BARR-2002R, STABLE-2007, ACUTE-2007, and the Risk of Administrative Segregation Tool (RAST), as well as being a certified trainer for Static-99R, Static-2002R, and the BARR-2002R.
Franca Cortoni, PhD is Professor of Criminology at Université de Montréal and a Research Fellow with the International Centre for Comparative Criminology. Since 1989, she has worked with and conducted research on male and female offenders in a variety of Canadian and Australian penitentiaries and community settings. Her research interests include factors associated with the development of sexual offending behavior, risk assessment and treatment of both male and female sexual offenders. She has published and made numerous presentations at national and international conferences on these topics. Dr. Cortoni is also an Associate Editor of Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment and a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Sexual Aggression.