The goal of this dissertation was to evaluate the cultural bias in predictive accuracy of widely used actuarial risk assessment instruments, Static-99R and Static-2002R, for the overrepresented ethnic minority groups in the criminal justice system in Canada (Indigenous peoples) and the U.S. (Blacks and Hispanics).
Study 1 evaluated the predictive validity of Static-99R across three major ethnic groups (Whites, Blacks, and Hispanic peoples) in the State of California. Static-99R was able to discriminate recidivists from non-recidivists among Whites, Blacks, and Hispanics with a history of sexual crimes (all AUC values >.70). The current findings support the use of Static-99R in risk assessment procedures for individuals of White, Black, and Hispanic heritage.
Study 2 compares the characteristics and risk factors for non-Hispanic Whites and Blacks who had been convicted of a sexual crime in New Jersey, USA. The results indicated that Whites appeared more paraphilic, whereas Blacks displayed higher anti-sociality. Despite the differences, the Static-99R predicted equally well for both racial groups: Whites (AUC = .76) and Blacks (AUC = .78). The findings suggest that there may be opportunities to improve treatment for the individuals at risk for sexual offending by tailoring interventions to the distinctive risk-relevant characteristics of Whites and Blacks.
Study 3 examined the predictive accuracy of Static-99R and Static-2002R for Whites and Indigenous individuals who have a history of sexual crimes. The results indicated that Static-99R predicted sexual recidivism with similar accuracy for the Indigenous and White study groups whereas Static-2002R predicted sexual recidivism only for Whites. The White study group showed more indicators of paraphilic interests whereas the Indigenous study group displayed higher general criminality. The findings suggest that the treatment for the individuals at risk for sexual offending may benefit from an increased focus on the distinctive risk-relevant characteristics of Whites and Indigenous peoples.
In conclusion, there is sufficient evidence to justify the use of the Static-99R for assessing the likelihood of sexual recidivism for certain ethnic minority groups (Blacks, Hispanics, and Indigenous peoples). In contrast, considerable caution is needed when interpreting the results of Static-2002R for individuals of Indigenous heritage.