The Validation of a Risk Assessment Instrument for Partner Abusers: Predictive Factors of Recidivism for Male and Female Offenders Deemed at Risk for Domestic Assault

Guy Bourgon, Solicitor General of Canada
Patrick O'Byrne, Saskatchewan Corrections

Violence against intimate partners is a serious social problem. The criminal justice system has responded with various initatives in an effort to reduce the harm caused by domestic violence. The importance of assessing risk is crucial for decision-making regarding sentencing, management, supervision, and treatment of these offenders. A recent review of domestic violence risk instruments by Dutton and Kropp (2000) illustrated that there are a number of domestic violence specific risk assessment instruments in use but few have published predictive validity data. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the predictive validity of the Partner Abusers Risk Assessment an instrument used in two Canadian provinces. Data on a sample of approximately 500 male and 300 female offenders (all had a history of violence against their intimate partner) was analyzed with respect to recidivism (average follow up period of over 2 years). The results focused on the predictive validity characteristics of the Partner Aabusers Risk Assessment as well as gender differences/similairities.

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Updated 05/20/2006