Sand Ridge Secure Treatment Center

Mauston, WI, United States

Sand Ridge Secure Treatment Center

Mauston, WI, United States

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Karl Hanson R.,Public Safety Canada | Harris A.J.R.,Forensic Assessment Group | Helmus L.,Carleton University | Thornton D.,Sand Ridge Secure Treatment Center
Journal of Interpersonal Violence | Year: 2014

This study examined the extent to which sexual offenders present an enduring risk for sexual recidivism over a 20-year follow-up period. Using an aggregated sample of 7,740 sexual offenders from 21 samples, the yearly recidivism rates were calculated using survival analysis. Overall, the risk of sexual recidivism was highest during the first few years after release, and decreased substantially the longer individuals remained sex offense–free in the community. This pattern was particularly strong for the high-risk sexual offenders (defined by Static-99R scores). Whereas the 5-year sexual recidivism rate for high-risk sex offenders was 22% from the time of release, this rate decreased to 4.2% for the offenders in the same static risk category who remained offense-free in the community for 10 years. The recidivism rates of the low-risk offenders were consistently low (1%-5%) for all time periods. The results suggest that offense history is a valid, but time-dependent, indicator of the propensity to sexually reoffend. Further research is needed to explain the substantial rate of desistance by high-risk sexual offenders. © 2014 The Author(s).


Mann R.E.,National Offender Management Service | Hanson R.K.,Public Safety Canada | Thornton D.,Sand Ridge Secure Treatment Center
Sexual Abuse: Journal of Research and Treatment | Year: 2010

Risk assessment and treatment for sexual offenders should focus on individual characteristics associated with recidivism risk. Although it is possible to conduct risk assessments based purely on empirical correlates, the most useful evaluations also explain the source of the risk. In this review, the authors propose that the basic requirements for a psychologically meaningful risk factor are (a) a plausible rationale that the factor is a cause of sexual offending and (b) strong evidence that it predicts sexual recidivism. Based on the second of these criteria, the authors categorize potential risk factors according to the strength of the evidence for their relationship with offending. The most strongly supported variables should be emphasized in both assessment and treatment of sexual offenders. Further research is required, however, to establish causal connections between these variables and recidivism and to examine the extent to which changes in these factors leads to reductions in recidivism potential. © The Author(s) 2010.


Helmus L.,Carleton University | Hanson R.K.,Public Safety Canada | Thornton D.,Sand Ridge Secure Treatment Center | Babchishin K.M.,Carleton University | Harris A.J.R.,Forensic Assessment Group
Criminal Justice and Behavior | Year: 2012

There has been considerable research on relative predictive accuracy (i.e., discrimination) in offender risk assessment (e.g., Are high-risk offenders more likely to reoffend than low-risk offenders?), but virtually no research on the accuracy or stability of absolute recidivism estimates (i.e., calibration). The current study aimed to fill this gap by examining absolute and relative risk estimates for certain Static sex offender assessment tools. Logistic regression coefficients for Static-99R and Static-2002R were combined through meta-analysis (8,106 sex offenders; 23 samples). The sexual recidivism rates for typical sex offenders are lower than the public generally believes. Static-99R and Static-2002R both demonstrated remarkably consistent relative predictive accuracy across studies. For both scales, however, the predicted recidivism rates within each risk score demonstrated large and significant variability across studies. The authors discuss how the variability in recidivism rates complicates the estimation of recidivism probability in applied assessments. © 2012 International Association for Correctional and Forensic Psychology.


Helmus L.,Public Safety Canada | Helmus L.,Carleton University | Thornton D.,Sand Ridge Secure Treatment Center | Hanson R.K.,Public Safety Canada | And 2 more authors.
Sexual Abuse: Journal of Research and Treatment | Year: 2012

Actuarial risk assessment scales and their associated recidivism estimates are generally developed on samples of offenders whose average age is well below 50 years. Criminal behavior of all types declines with age; consequently, actuarial scales tend to overestimate recidivism for older offenders. The current study aimed to develop a revised scoring system for two risk assessment tools (Static-99 and Static-2002) that would more accurately describe older offenders' risk of recidivism. Using data from 8,390 sex offenders derived from 24 separate samples, age was found to add incremental predictive validity to both Static-99 and Static-2002. After creating new age weights, the resulting instruments (Static-99R and Static-2002R) had only slightly higher relative predictive accuracy. The absolute recidivism estimates, however, provided a substantially better fit for older offenders than the recidivism estimates from the original scales. We encourage evaluators to adopt the revised scales with the new age weights. © The Author(s) 2012.


Beech A.R.,University of Birmingham | Miner M.H.,University of Minnesota | Thornton D.,University of Birmingham | Thornton D.,Sand Ridge Secure Treatment Center
Annual Review of Clinical Psychology | Year: 2016

This review summarizes and critically examines the changes in how the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) characterizes paraphilias. Attention is paid to the diagnostic options that were included in DSM-5, the decision not to include criterion sets for two additional disorders (paraphilic coercive disorder and hypersexual behavior disorder), and the further decision not to modify the diagnosis of pedophilic to pedohebephilic disorder. The three most significant changes are (a) the move to distinguish paraphilias from paraphilic disorders (allowing unusual sexual interests to be studied by researchers but only regarded as disorders when they cause distress or dysfunction), (b) introducing criteria describing paraphilic disorders as being in remission (when they no longer cause distress or dysfunction), and (c) clarifying the relationship between behavior and paraphilias. Concerns are noted about the forensic use of diagnoses and the lack of funding for field trials in this revision of the DSM. Suggestions are given for future directions in order to further research efficacy and clinical diagnosis. Copyright ©2016 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.


Allen B.P.,Sand Ridge Secure Treatment Center | Pflugradt D.M.,348 American Driveart
International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology | Year: 2014

Although actuarial instruments are ubiquitously used in the field of sex offender recidivism risk assessment, there is limited empirical information about the underlying constructs from which they are derived. The following study utilized a nonparametric item response theory procedure, a Mokken analysis, and nonlinear factor analysis (Normal Ogive Harmonic Analysis Robust Method) to explore the underlying constructs of the STATIC-99 scores obtained for male sexual offenders (N = 451) referred for an evaluation to determine if they met criteria for civil commitment under a state's Sexually Violent Persons Law. The results from the analyses indicated that the STATIC-99 comprises the two previously identified constructs associated with sexual deviancy and antisocial behaviors as well as a third, additional construct, associated with the items pertaining to age and past marital-type relationships. These findings support Hanson and Thornton's assertion that sexual offender recidivism risk is multifactorial and not the result of a single underlying trait. Implications for future research are discussed. © The Author(s) 2013.


Harenski C.L.,Mind Research Network | Thornton D.M.,Sand Ridge Secure Treatment Center | Harenski K.A.,Mind Research Network | Decety J.,University of Chicago | And 2 more authors.
Archives of General Psychiatry | Year: 2012

Context: Sexual sadism is a psychiatric disorder in which sexual pleasure is derived from inflicting pain, suffering, or humiliation on others. While the psychological and forensic aspects of sexual sadism have been well characterized, little is known about the neurocognitive circuitry associated with the disorder. Sexual sadists show increased peripheral sexual arousal when observing other individuals in pain. The neural mechanisms underlying this unusual response are not well understood. We predicted that sadists relative to nonsadists would show increased responses in brain regions associated with sexual arousal (amygdala, hypothalamus, and ventral striatum) and affective pain processing (anterior cingulate and anterior insula) during pain observation. Objective: To study the neural correlates of pain observation in sadists and nonsadists. Design: Case-control cross-sectional study. Sadists and nonsadists viewed 50 social scenes, 25 that depicted a person in pain (eg, one person stabbing another person's hand with scissors) and 25 thematically matched no-pain pictures (eg, one person stabbing a table with scissors, with another person's hand nearby). Pain severity ratings (range, 0 [none] to 4 [severe]) were acquired following each picture presentation. Setting: Sand Ridge Secure Treatment Center, Mauston, Wisconsin. Participants: Fifteen violent sexual offenders, including 8 sadists and 7 nonsadists (defined using the Severe Sexual Sadism Scale) who were matched for age, IQ, and education. Main Outcome Measures: Hemodynamic response revealed by functional magnetic resonance imaging and pain severity ratings. Results: Sadists relative to nonsadists showed greater amygdala activation when viewing pain pictures. They also rated pain pictures higher on pain severity than non-sadists. Sadists but not nonsadists showed a positive correlation between pain severity ratings and activity in the anterior insula. Conclusion: These results provide neurobehavioral evidence of unusually heightened sensitivity to the pain of others in sadists. ©2012 American Medical Association. All rights reserved.


Thornton D.,Sand Ridge Secure Treatment Center | Knight R.A.,Brandeis University
Sexual Abuse: Journal of Research and Treatment | Year: 2015

This article describes the construction and testing of a newly designed instrument to assess psychological factors associated with increased rates of sexual recidivism. The new instrument (Structured Risk Assessment–Forensic Version or SRA-FV) was based on previous research using the SRA framework. This article describes the results of testing SRA-FV with a large sample (N = 566) of sexual offenders being evaluated for an early civil commitment program. SRA-FV was found to significantly predict sexual recidivism for both child molesters and rapists and to have incremental predictive value relative to two widely used static actuarial instruments (Static-99R; Risk Matrix 2000/S). © 2013, © The Author(s) 2013.


de Vries Robbe M.,Van der Hoeven Kliniek | Mann R.E.,National Offender Management Service | Maruna S.,Rutgers University | Thornton D.,Sand Ridge Secure Treatment Center
Sexual Abuse: Journal of Research and Treatment | Year: 2015

This article considers factors that support or assist desistance from sexual offending in those who have previously offended. Current risk assessment tools for sexual offending focus almost exclusively on assessing factors that raise the risk for offending. The aim of this study was to review the available literature on protective factors supporting desistance from sexual offending. This article discusses the potential value of incorporating protective factors into the assessment process, and examines the literature on this topic to propose a list of eight potential protective domains for sexual offending. The inclusion of notions of desistance and strengths may provide additional guidance to the assessment and treatment of those who sexually offend. Further research investigations are recommended to consolidate the preliminary conclusions from this study regarding the nature and influence of protective factors in enabling individuals to desist from further offending. © The Author(s) 2014.


Hanson R.K.,Corrections Research | Helmus L.,Corrections Research | Thornton D.,Sand Ridge Secure Treatment Center
Law and Human Behavior | Year: 2010

The predictive accuracy of Static-2002 (Hanson & Thornton, Notes on the development of Static-2002 (Corrections Research User Report No. 2003-01), 2003) was examined in eight samples of sexual offenders (five Canadian, one U.S., one U.K., one Danish; total sample of 3,034). Static-2002 showed moderate ability to rank order the risk for sexual, violent and general (any) recidivism (AUCs of .68, .71, and .70, respectively), and was more accurate than Static-99. These findings support the use of Static-2002 in applied assessments. There were substantial differences across samples, however, in the observed sexual recidivism rates. These differences present new challenges to evaluators wishing to use actuarial risk scores to estimate absolute recidivism rates. © Public Safety Canada 2009.

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