Year of Award


Document Type

Professional Paper

Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name

Sociology (Criminology Option)

Department or School/College

Department of Sociology

Committee Chair

James Burfeind

Commitee Members

Dusten Hollist, Jeffrey Greene


risk assessment, sex-offender


University of Montana


This review discusses the content and theory that drive the creation of risk assessment of sex offenders. While risk assessment tools are used by corrections agencies to determine the potential risk for reoffending for all types of offenders, this paper focuses on those used for sex offenders. The intent with this project is to assess various risk assessment tools and describe the implications on possible new scales, and to cover potential solutions to problems inherent to the field of risk assessment. These goals are accomplished by extensive inventory of the most widely used risk scales, followed by discussion of a series of viable solutions to the problems inherent with risk scales. Suggested changes to the field of risk assessment include incorporating step-wise applications and using theoretically- grounded scale components. This paper also organizes much of the current literature about risk assessment and highlights common shortcomings and innovations of each scale discussed.



© Copyright 2011 Derek Nicholas Emerson