FAQs

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

By THE CALIFORNIA SARATSO* COMMITTEE
The highest priority of the SARATSO Committee is community safety.

*SARATSO-State-Authorized Risk Assessment Tool for Sex Offenders (Pen. Code, §290.03-09.)

Q: How does risk assessment predict a sex offender’s risk of re-offending?
Q: Does the risk score tell us an individual sex offender’s own risk of re-offending?
Q: How valid is risk assessment using the Static-99R?
Q: How do experts regard the accuracy of prediction using the Static-99R?
Q: How do we continue to improve predictive accuracy of risk of reoffense?
Q: What types of sex offender risk assessments are conducted in California?
Q: How can risk assessment reduce sexual reoffending?
Q: Who administers the sex offender risk assessments that are required for all registered sex offenders who are on probation or parole for the sex offense?
Q: Do certified sex offender treatment providers have to be trained on the SARATSO Risk Assessment Instruments?
Q: Where do I find training on the SARATSO Risk Assessment Instruments?
Q: Where do I find trainings which will fulfill my educational hours requirements for certified treatment providers?

 

 

 

Q: How does risk assessment predict a sex offender’s risk of re-offending?
A: The assessment is based on research studies identifying things about sex offenders that when present predict risk of re-offense, such as age of the offender, prior arrests and convictions for sex offenses and violent offenses, and type of victim.

Q: Does the risk score tell us an individual sex offender’s own risk of re-offending?
A: The risk scores are based on reoffense rates of very large groups of sex offenders. If the offender being scored is similar to the large group of sex offenders on which the reoffense rates were derived then we would expect the individual sex offender to have a similar rate of sexual reoffense for any given score.

Q: How valid is risk assessment with the Static-99R?
A: The static risk assessment instrument used in California, the Static-99R, correctly identified 82% of California registered sex offenders who were arrested for a new sexual offense within 5 years of release from custody. Other meta-analyses show that the Static-99R has predictive accuracy of 70 - 75%.

Q: How do experts regard the accuracy of prediction using the Static-99R?
A: Predictive accuracy of 70% is considered to be moderately predictive, while predictive accuracy above 80% is considered excellent.

Q: How do we continue to improve predictive accuracy of risk of reoffense?
A: Since there are no static risk instruments that include all the risk factors for sexual reoffense, the examination of additional risk factors, such as dynamic (changeable) risk factors, will improve risk predictions.

Q: What types of sex offender risk assessments are conducted in California?
A: Chelsea's Law requires that sex offenders be assessed for dynamic risk and risk of future violence. Combining the score on these risk instruments with the static score will improve the accuracy of risk predictions.

Q: How can risk assessment reduce sexual reoffending?
A: Research-based risk assessment helps probation and parole decide which offenders need more intensive supervision, including active monitoring with GPS, and helps inform sexual offender management decisions by supervising officers and treatment management professionals.

Q: Who administers the sex offender risk assessments that are required for all registered sex offenders who are on probation or parole for the sex offense?
A: Probation administers the Static-99R pre-sentencing and while the offender is on probation; parole administers the Static-99R prior to release on parole. The treatment provider administers the Stable-2007, Acute-2007 (dynamic tools) and the LSCMI (violence tool) as part of the treatment program.

Q: Do certified sex offender treatment providers have to be trained on the SARATSO Risk Assessment Instruments?
A: Each certified sex offender treatment program must have at least one certified provider who has been trained by a SARATSO-approved trainer to score the dynamic (Stable-2007) and violence (LSCMI) risk assessment instruments. Thus, when a certified program is run by a sole practitioner, that certified provider must have the required SARATSO-approved training. A program with multiple certified providers can elect to have only one person certified to do the scoring on these instruments.

Q: Where do I find training on the SARATSO Risk Assessment Instruments?
A: Check for currently scheduled SARATSO trainings under the Trainings tab. You can also check with SARATSO staff to see if a trainer has been approved by SARATSO if the course is offered through another organization.

Q: Where do I find trainings which will fulfill my educational hours requirements for certified treatment providers?
A: Check with these following organizations for courses: