Authors: Tamara Sweller - Corrective Services New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, Stuart Thomas - Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Australia and Michael Daffern - Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne and Victorian Institute of Forensic Mental Health (Forensicare), Melbourne, Australia.



This study investigated change in behavioural manifestations of dynamic risk factors, in a sample of adult male sexual offenders who completed a custody-based treatment program. A checklist was developed to monitor and determine change in the frequency of behavioural manifestations of dynamic risk factors and prosocial equivalent behaviours. Offenders and custodial staff completed the checklist once each week for the duration of the offender’s period of treatment (range = 26-69 weeks, M = 45). Checklist scores were aggregated into domains based on the organisation of the Risk for Sexual Violence Protocol (Psychological Adjustment; Social Adjustment; Mental Disorder; Manageability). Change over time for individuals and the group was evaluated. Results showed an increase in positive behaviour in all domains, but there was only a decrease in risk-related manifestations in Psychological Adjustment, and this was only according to offenders. Offender self-report and staff observations were compared, revealing different perceptions of change. Using a behavioural checklist that incorporates self-report and observer data to measure change may provide a comprehensive measure of change over time.

Keywords: Sexual Offender; Change Measurement; Risk Factor; Behavioural Manifestation; Prison; Treatment.

Vol 2, Issue 1, April 2021