Assessing risk in female offenders

Geraghty, Kate Anya (2015). Assessing risk in female offenders. University of Birmingham. Foren.Psy.D.

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Women comprise a minority of the offending population and their crimes are less likely to inflict serious harm when compared with male offenders. Although men may be the predominant perpetrators of violence this does not outweigh the need for evidence informed practice in the assessment and management of risk in female offenders. This thesis aims to explore the assessment of risk in female offenders through three pieces of research. Firstly, a systematic review of the validity of risk assessments in predicting recidivism and violence for female offenders is presented. This demonstrates that there was great variability with respect to the accuracy of risk assessment tools in predicting recidivism or violence. It also demonstrated that there is a significant gap in the empirical base with respect to assessing risk in female offenders. A critique of the HCR-20V3 is subsequently presented to assess its reliability and validity. The fourth chapter presents an empirical paper. This evaluated the predictive validity of gender-neutral and gender-responsive risk assessments in predicting inpatient violence in female psychiatric offenders. Results indicated that the gender neutral assessments did not perform significantly better than the traditional gender-specific risk assessments in predicting inpatient violence. The final chapter of the thesis concludes by discussing the overall findings as well as the implications for future research and clinical practice. It is suggested that further the gender-responsive approach to female offenders may be better adopted to the management of female offenders rather than to the assessment of their risk.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Foren.Psy.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Foren.Psy.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Psychology
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare


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