BuzzFeedNews These 10 Questions Can Mean Life Behind Bars

An article by Peter Aldhous, BuzzFeed News Reporter

More precisely, what the Static-99 predicts — with modest accuracy, at best — is the risk that men within a group of sex offenders will commit a new sex offense, compared to other members of that group. Experts agree that it’s a useful tool for managing sex offenders in prison — assessing which of them need higher levels of security, for example. But the way the test is used in civil commitment — to help make high-stakes decisions about offenders’ liberty after they have served their criminal sentences — is highly controversial.

4 thoughts on “Static-99: The 10 Question Checklist That Can’t

  1. One of the things that disturbs me is that the legitimate purpose of the MH civil commitment system (created to help stabilize (actually) mentally ill persons in need of BRIEF hospitalization in order to get stabilized on psychotropic meds so they can resume their jobs, go home etc.) has been hijacked by the criminal justice system… Prosecutors, courts and parole boards use ‘evaluations’ as the basis to ‘sentence’ prisoners and parolees to privately run for-profit facilities (like the one Liberty Corporation runs at Rushville in IL) Once civilly ‘committed’ to these facilities there is no legal means of appeal through the courts and all hope of release rests with the same evaluaters whose evaluations … the same evaluaters who are paid by the civil facilities who need to keep the beds full in order to make a profit (and pay the salaries of the evaluaters who do the evaluations that keep the facility beds full …

    When people are sentenced to Civil Commitment for a Parole or a Registry violation, the legal system claims they are not being punished but most people sent the such ‘facilities’ die there. It’s a life-with-out sentence imposed ‘civilly’ based on some evaluation/ test that claims to predict what a person might have done ten years hence if he had been allowed to be free. No one can prove a negative. No one can prove he would not have committed a crime had he been free to commit the crime they claim he would have committed had he not been evaluated to be likely to commit such a crime…it is crazy making but People DIE in “Civil Commitment” due to such ‘reasoning’ But Civil Commitment,of prisoners, like “Life on the Registry’ cannot be punishment because they say it’s not punishment….They are ALL experts in circular reasoning…

    A Justice System that strips all hope of freedom away from human beings is, by definition both unjust and punitive.

  2. The entire system is an illusion designed to make the public believe that it is all, and exclusively, done for safety.
    The dark reality that the outside world never sees is always a different story.

  3. Here is a quote from an article at Sexual Offender Treatment ,

    Despite its success, it is far from ideal. The predictive accuracy is only moderate and the scores have no intrinsic meanings. The items were selected based on their ease of administration and association with recidivism. Evaluators using more than one actuarial scale will often find divergent risk rankings (Barbaree, Langton, & Peacock, 2006), and these conflicting results can only be explained by an understanding of what the scales are measuring. For example, some scales may be heavily weighted with items associated with sexual deviancy and other scales may be weighted with items associated with general criminality (Doren, 2002).

  4. I have read more than once that the Static-99 is and was designed for those currently incarcerated. Additionally, the statistics and numbers are only valid for a 10 year period.
    I have also seen mentioned that after 17 years of no offense being committed, an ex-offender is equally subject to commit a new offense as the general public.
    I’m of the belief that after 10 years the Static-99 is worthless and after 17 years, no matter the nature of the original offense, there should be an automatic relief from the requirement to register.

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