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Assessing offender risk and treatment need with the IORNS

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Assessing Offender Risk and Treatment Need with the IORNS
Holly A. Miller, Ph.D.College of Criminal JusticeSam Houston State University
Overview
IORNS rationaleCurrent state of researchStatic riskDynamic risk/needProtective strengthsIORNS overviewAdministration and scoringInterpretation
IORNS Rationale
The idea of the Inventory of Offender Risk, Needs, and Strengths was developed from:A lack of a comprehensivetoolsto assess variables related to recidivismTreatment providers voicing a need for a measure that has the ability to detect possible change in variables related to recidivism through treatmentA needfora brief/efficient risk/need assessment measure with a low grade reading level
IORNS Rationale
The overall purpose of the IORNS is to provide a comprehensive measure that assesses most variables related to recidivism or desistance from crime for treatment and management purposesNo measure includes the assessment of static, dynamic, and protective factors for adult offenders
Status of Research –Static
Confirming the adage that past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior – we have solid evidence that static risk variables are good predictors of future criminal behaviorExamples:Number of previous offensesAge at first offensePrevious revocation of probation/parole
Status of Research –Static
Although there is good evidence of the relationship between static risk factors and recidivism:They do not account for all of the variance in recidivismThey cannot changeOnce high risk, always high riskMost effective for long-term prediction
Status of Research – Dynamic/Need
Variables that may change over time or through treatmentDate back to Andrews and Bonta (1994) analysis of criminogenic needsResearch indicates that dynamic risk/need variables account for unique variance in recidivism – above the static risk variablesThus, most researchers/evaluators strongly advocate assessment of dynamic variables as well
Status of Research –Dynamic/Need
Examples of dynamic risk/need variablesPro-criminalattitudesIrresponsibilitySubstance abuseImpulsivitySelf-esteem problemsInterpersonal problemsPsychopathy?
Status of Research –Protective Strength Factors
Opposed to risk factors, protective factors are proposed to either mitigate the effect of risk variables or independently influence antisocial behaviorResearch has historically focused onrisk,ignoring those positive factors that may also strongly influence criminal behavior
Status of Research –Protective Strength Factors
Rogers (2000) analogy“…would most forensic psychologists give credence to a financial planner who dwelled only on their fiscal liabilities to the exclusion of their monetary assets? Predictions based on only one side of the ledger, be it financial or mental health, are markedly constrained in theirusefulness.”(p. 598)
Status of Research –Protective Strength Factors
Although researchers and clinicians strongly advocate the use of protective factors, few measures include their assessmentAny assessment of risk or treatment need is likely an overly negative one when not including the positive side of the ledger
Status of Research –Protective Strength Factors
Examples of protective factors found in the literatureSocial bondsCriminological theory based upon this premiseTexas Prisoner Reentry program examplePositive family and friend supportEducation and/or training for employmentNon-criminal peers
Assessment Needs
No instrument includes all 3 variable typesFor assessment and to examine how they interact overall with recidivismMost tools do not offer comprehensive assessment of factors related to recidivism and desistance from crimeMost tools are designed for one type of offending behaviorMosttools require lengthyinterviewsand expensive training
IORNS Development
The main purposes of the IORNS development project:Construct a time-efficient and easily administered assessment of variables related to recidivism and crime desistanceTo develop a comprehensive measure containing indexes, scales, and subscales for specificity and interpretation that would achieve utility for offender treatment and management focus
IORNS Development
To accomplish the first goal – the IORNS was developed as a self-report measureNot as a replacement of clinical/structured interviews, but to be used as an adjunctItems written attempting to minimize possible responding stylesIORNS to include validity indicators to assess these response stylesInconsistent Responding Style (IRS)Favorable Impression (FIM)
IORNS Development
In attempt to fulfill the second goal of the IORNS development project, an effort was made to include a broad array of constructsInitially, constructs that have been found to significantly relate to recidivism were includedVariables/categories selected if relatedto:General, sexual, and violent criminal behaviorCrime desistance
IORNS Development
Constructs initially included for item writing:StaticPro-criminal attitudesIrresponsibilityNegativesocialinfluenceSelf-regulation problems/impulsivityAntisocial personality/psychopathyDisregard for othersAlcohol/drugproblemsLow self-esteemIntimacy problemsLow treatment desire/complianceHostility/aggressionFamily/social supportEducation/trainingSocial participationEffective problem solving/improved self-regulation
IORNS Development
201 items writtenAdministered to308 undergrads163 general imprisoned offenders55 sexual imprisoned offenders27 items droppedLow item-total correlation (< .20)Significantly lowered ‘scale’ alpha174 items administered toAdditional 115 offenders
IORNS Development
Principle Axis Factoring (PAF) withpromax(oblique) rotation completed on total offender sample (N=333)Initial solution indicated a 9 factor solutionOne Static factor – 12 itemsSix dynamic factors (from 11) – 79 itemsTwo protective strength factors (from 5) – 26 items
IORNS Development
Final 130 items into 9 factors/scalesStatic Risk (Static Risk Index)Dynamic Needs (Dynamic Needs Index)Criminal OrientationPsychopathyIntra/Interpersonal ProblemsAggressionAlcohol/Drug ProblemsNegative Social InfluenceProtective Strengths (Protective Strengths Index)Personal ResourcesEnvironmental Resources
Initial IORNS Reliability
Index/Scale Items AlphaStatic Risk Index 12 .76Dynamic Need Index 79 .91Criminal Orientation 19 .81Psychopathy22 .86Intra/InterpersonalProb13 .75Alcohol/Drug Problems 7 .82Aggression 11 .79Negative Social Influence 7 .80Protective Strength Index 26 .85Personal Resources 19 .84Environmental Resources 7 .76
Initial IORNS Reliability
Scale/subscale Items AlphaCriminal OrientationPro-Criminal Attitudes 10 .76Irresponsibility 9 .67PsychopathyManipulativeness8 .79Impulsivity 7 .74Angry Detachment 7 .73Intra/Interpersonal ProblemsEsteem Problems 7 .70Relational Problems 6 .59
Initial IORNS Reliability
Scale/subscale Items AlphaAggressionHostility 4 .60Aggressive Behaviors 7 .76Negative Social InfluenceNegative Friends 4 .84Negative Family 3 .70Personal ResourcesCognitive/BehavioralRegulation 9 .79Anger Regulation 5 .71Education/Training 5 .65
Validity Scale Development
Favorable Impression (FIM)Initially 15 items written13 items kept based on item-total correlationsAlpha = .77Inconsistent Responding Style (IRS)Item pair correlations were examined10 item pairs withr>.45 were selected for IRS
Validity and Assessing Change
Several validity studies with male/female general, violent, and sexual imprisoned and probated offenders have been completedTo date two large-scale projects have assessed the ability of the IORNS to detect change through treatmentSex offender treatment programGeneral offender reentry program
IORNS
It is hoped that the IORNS will provide a more comprehensive tool for assessing variables related to recidivism for treatment and management purposesAlthough it is likely that the combination of variables related to criminal behavior will increase the prediction of future antisocial behavior, currently there is no data to support the use of the IORNS for prediction
IORNS Administrationand Scoring
MaterialsManualInstructionsTscores; percentiles; confidence intervalsCarbonless IORNS response formScoring summary and profile formPen/pencilFlat writing surface
IORNS Administrationand Scoring
Appropriate populations and test limitationsThird-grade reading level requiredNormedon 18– 75 years old male offendersNormedon18 – 60 year old female offendersNormedon 18 – 75 year old community adults (both male and female)Offender population includes incarcerated and probated male/female general and sexual offenders
IORNS Administrationand Scoring
Professional qualificationsIndividuals without specific training in forensic psychology, clinical psychology, or psychiatry may administer and score the IORNS – but should be familiar with administration and scoring of objective measures and guidelines for test useIORNS score interpretation and report writing should be limited to professionals who have formal training in assessment and interpretation of psychological tests
IORNS Administrationand Scoring
Example of general instruction to examinee:This form contains a list of statements that describe feelings, behaviors, and experiences that many people have had. By answering whether each statement applies toyouas honestly as you can, you will help us get a better understanding of you, how you are the same or different from others, and how to tailor programs to best meet your needs. If you aren’t sure whether a statement applies to you, choose the answer that is closest to how you feel. Please answer all of the items the best that you can, even if they don’t seem to apply to you.
IORNS Administrationand Scoring
Administration should take about 15 minutes (answer items as offender)Scoring takes about 20 minutes (once you have completed a few)To scoreDetach perforated strip along bottom of carbonless response formUse scoring sheet to score each scale/subscaleTransfer scores over to profile form and convert toTscores, percentiles, etc.,with manual
IORNS Interpretation
Multistep evaluationValidity (less than 15% missing (20 items); IRS; FIM)Normative comparisonsAs with other problem-focused measures, the IORNS normative scale information is not normally distributed – so important to examine bothTscore and percentileGeneral (indexes)Scales (Tscores and percentiles)Subscales (range indicators for specific scale interpretation)Manual provides several interpretive statements for each index, scale, and subscale.
THANK YOU!
Holly A. Miller, Ph.D.Assistant Dean of Undergraduate ProgramsAssociate ProfessorCollege of Criminal JusticeSam Houston State UniversityHuntsville, Texas 77341-2296936-294-1686; hmiller@shsu.edu

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Assessing offender risk and treatment need with the IORNS