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A theoretically informed meta-analysis of the risk for general and violent recidivism for mentally disordered offenders

James Bonta, Julie Blais, Holly A. Wilson
Aggression and Violent Behavior; Volume 19, Issue 3, May–June 2014, Pages 278–287.

Mentally disordered offenders (MDOs) pose a significant challenge for forensic and correctional staff charged with managing them in a safe and humane manner. As with non-disordered offenders, it is important to identify the factors that are predictive of recidivism and can serve as treatment targets for MDOs. The present meta-analysis evaluated the relative predictive validity of the risk/need domains from the General Personality and Cognitive Social Learning (GPCSL) perspective and variables taken from the clinical perspective. The search yielded a total of 126 studies reporting on 96 unique samples (N = 23,900). Results indicated that all risk/need domains under the GPCSL perspective were significantly related to both general and violent recidivism. In contrast, the majority of clinical variables (with the exception of antisocial personality/psychopathy) were not predictive of either outcome. These findings emphasize the importance of identifying appropriate risk factors for MDOs.



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