Assessing Dynamic Risk, Protective Factors, and Change with Sexual Offending Populations: Implications for Dynamic Sexual Violence Risk Assessment and Management


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29 Mar 2023
9:00 AM -12:15 PM


Via Zoom

About the Workshop:

This presentation provides a review and synthesis of the sexual offense treatment change literature with implications for dynamic sexual violence risk assessment and management. A rationale is provided for the importance of dynamic approaches in sexual violence risk assessment, and that change is most informative when it is risk relevant and generated from a credible change agent (e.g., treatment, aging, increase in supports). Models and methods for evaluating sexual violence risk change are then briefly reviewed, followed by a more detailed overview of sexual offense treatment change research in frequently evaluated domains of psychological functioning (e.g., sexual deviance, mental health and wellbeing, attitudes/cognitions). The role and relevance of protective factors, and the extent to which these may be additive or incremental to risk factors in sexual violence risk assessment and management, are examined in light of new data. Special considerations for sexual violence change evaluation with respect to ethnocultural diversity will be discussed. Finally, prominent examples of dynamic sexual offense risk measures, and their change properties demonstrated through research, are reviewed followed by an illustration of methods to systematically incorporate change information into risk appraisals.       

The presenter

Mark Olver is Professor and Registered Doctoral Psychologist in the Clinical Psychology Program at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, where he is involved in graduate and undergraduate research supervision, teaching, administration, clinical training, and applied forensic research. Prior to his academic appointment, Mark worked as a clinical psychologist in various capacities, including providing assessment, treatment, and consultation services for young offenders in the Saskatoon Health Region and for adult federal offenders in the Correctional Service of Canada. He has published over 170 journal articles and book chapters and his research interests include risk assessment and correctional treatment, justice involved youth, psychopathy, variations in human sexuality, and the evaluation of therapeutic change. He is the co-developer of the Violence Risk Scale-Sexual Offense version (VRS-SO) and the Violence Risk Scale-Youth Sexual Offense version (VRS-YSO) and he provides training and consultation services internationally in the assessment and treatment of high psychopathy, sexual, and violent offending populations. 

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