The Current State of Adolescent Risk Assessment

Prescott, D.S. (2005). The current state of adolescent risk assessment. In B. Schwartz (Ed.) The sex offender: Issues in assessment, treatment, and supervision of adult and juvenile populations. (pp. 17-1 – 17-15). Kingston, NJ: Civic Research Institute.

OVERVIEW. Given the dynamic of human development, predicting any future trends in the lives of adolescents can be a challenging and perhaps questionable undertaking. This chapter reviews the complicated issue of predicting sexually inappropriate behavior in juveniles. Risk assessment among adults is itself a highly controversial issue; the problems are multiplied when dealing with a youthful population. One needs to consider a variety of static and dynamic factors, which the adolescent may prioritize differently compared to the adult offender. The latest developments in this highly specialized area are herein reviewed as well as cautionary notes concerning the serious ramifications of predicting that a young person is on the path toward becoming an adult sex offender.