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Psychopathy and Sexual Aggression: Management Implications

NCJ Number
International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology Dated: 2021
Date Published

The current study explored the association between psychopathic traits and release suitability decisions and examined the role of Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R) and Static-99 in predicting general and sexual recidivism.


The sample included 207 adult male sex offenders involved in the long-term follow-up at the Massachusetts Treatment Center for Sexually Dangerous Persons (MTC) in Bridgewater, Massachusetts. Contrary to our expectations, PCL-R Factor 2 (Lifestyle/Antisocial) scores were positively associated with being selected for gradual release, whereas PCL-R Factor 1 (Interpersonal/Affective) scores were not related to parole boards’ decisions. Additionally, the interaction between the two factors was a significant predictor, suggesting that the individuals with more pronounced Factor 1 traits were less likely to be released when their Factor 2 scores were high as well. Although Static-99 scores predicted both contact and non-contact sexual recidivism, psychopathy was not related to reoffending, possibly because offenders with child victims were over-represented in the sample. (Publisher Abstract)


Date Published: January 1, 2021