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What Is SARATSO?

The term SARATSO refers to evidence-based, state authorized risk assessment tools used for evaluating sex offenders. State law established the SARATSO (State Authorized Risk Assessment Tool for Sex Offenders) Review Committee, to consider the selection of the risk assessment tools for California. Research shows that the most accurate way of predicting whether a sex offender will reoffend is by utilizing a validated risk assessment instrument.

A validation study of the Static-99 risk assessment instrument, which is used to score risk of sexual reoffense by California sex offenders, shows that Static-99 assessments are very accurate in predicting sexual re-offense by a diverse California sex offender population.  The first 5 years of this study is described in the Journal of Threat Assessment and Management (2014), Vol. 1, No. 2, at pp. 102-117.  The California Department of Justice partnered with the SARATSO Committee to do this study.  The second five years of the study will be published in 2017.    The Static-99 was found to be very accurate in predicting who would reoffend in California, predicting who would commit a new sex offense in about 82% of cases.  High risk offenders had a recidivism rate of over 29%, while low risk offenders had a recidivism rate of only 1.6%.  The article also describes a California SARATSO inter-rater reliability study which shows that inter-rater reliability in scoring the Static-99R is good.

What is the Containment Model?

A collaborative approach to sex offender management, known as the Containment Model, is used in California. Communication and collaboration among the supervising officer, treatment provider, and polygraph examiner are the heart of this model, which relies on ongoing communication about risk.

Current Containment Model

What's New?

In September 2013 the SARATSO Committee selected a new dynamic risk tool, the Stable-2007/Acute-2007.  Certified treatment providers must continue to use the previous dynamic instrument, the SRA-FVL, until being trained by a SARATSO-approved trainer in 2013-2014 on the Stable-2007/Acute-2007.

The SARATSO Committee will do a presentation on the Containment Model for judges, or for stakeholders in the sex offender management community, on request. Click here to see the flyer.