36 Crim. Just. & Behavior 5 (2009)

handle is hein.journals/crmjusbhv36 and id is 1 raw text is: 



Victorian Institute of Forensic Mental Health (Forensicare)
and the Centre for Behavioural Science, Monash University
Carstairs Hospital, Scotland

The Level of Service Inventory-Revised: Screening Version (LSI-R:SV) has proven to validly predict reoffending in general
offender populations but has not previously been studied specifically with offenders who have a major mental illness,
including those with a dual diagnosis. This research project measures the validity of the LSI-R:SV for use with 208 mentally
ill offenders who were released from a secure forensic hospital in Melbourne, Australia. Results indicate that the LSI-R:SV
is a good predictor of recidivism among mentally disordered offenders. However, the LSI-R:SV does not reliably predict
recidivism in individuals who attracted a dual diagnosis. Further research needs to reevaluate risk factors associated with
recidivism in offenders with a dual diagnosis.

Keywords: risk assessment; dual diagnosis; mentally ill (disordered) offender; violence risk; recidivism

A lthough once believed to be no more likely to   engage  in criminal behavior than members
     of the general population, individuals with a major mental disorder are now known  to be
at an elevated risk for such behavior (Angermeyer,  2000; Monahan,   1992; Wallace,  Mullen,
&  Burgess, 2004; Walsh,  Buchanan,  &  Fahy, 2002). In Victoria, Australia, it has been found
that 25%  of individuals serving a jail term have had prior psychiatric contact, and this is true
of one  third of those  incarcerated for a violent offense  (Wallace  et al., 1998). Mullen,
Holmquist,  and Ogloff (2003)  reported in a nationwide review of Australian epidemiological
data that 13.5% of male prisoners and 20.0%   of female prisoners had reported having a prior
psychiatric admission, and 40.0%  of males  and 50.0%  of females incarcerated at the time of
the study reported having had a prior psychiatric assessment. In addition, the number of indi-
viduals with  major  mental  disorders entering the  criminal justice system  has drastically
increased during the past 30 years (Ogloff, Davis, Rivers, & Ross, 2007; Wallace et al., 2004).
The  vast majority of these individuals will at some point be released from prison, and there-
fore it is of great importance to assess their risk of reoffending while living in the community.

                          MENTAL ILLNESS AND OFFENDING

   Bonta, Law,  and  Hanson  (1998)  undertook  a meta-analysis  of recidivism  among  men-
tally ill offenders and found across 64 unique samples  the mean  rate of general and violent

AUTHORS' NOTE: Correspondence concerning this   article should be addressed to A. Murray Ferguson,
Centrefor Forensic Behavioural Science, Thomas Embling Hospital, Fairfield, Victoria, Australia 3078; e-mail:
CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND BEHAVIOR, Vol. 36 No. 1, January 2009 5-20
DOI: 10.1177/0093854808326525
0 2009 International Association for Correctional and Forensic Psychology


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