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Predicting Relapse for Catholic Clergy Sex Offenders: The Use of the Static-99

Stephen Montana, Gary Thompson, Peter Ellsworth, Hugh Lagan, Leslie Helmus & Colin J. Rhoades.

Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment; December 2012, vol. 24, no. 6, 575-590.



The Static-99 is an instrument commonly used to measure the likelihood of recidivism among sex offenders. The current study explores whether the Static-99 is an effective predictor of relapse among Catholic clergy who have had sexual contact with minors. Static-99 scores were compiled for 337 treated clergy who had offended against minors, including 21 who were known to have relapsed after treatment. Clergy were followed up for 5 to 25 years posttreatment (M = 16.05; SD = 5.12) after their completion of treatment. Post release, they were closely supervised, with explicit rules limiting their contacts with minors and church officials monitoring their compliance with posttreatment plans. Descriptive information on the victims of clergy sex offenders is provided. Although all clergy offenders had the same score on 4 of the 10 Static-99 items, Static-99 total scores still significantly predicted relapse with a moderate to large effect size (area under the curve [AUC] = .672; Cohen's d = .808). Predictive accuracy of each item is also reported. Issues concerning the use of the Static-99 with this population are discussed.



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