Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2012, $225,000)
The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 (AWA) (Pub. L. 109-248, 42 U.S.C. § 16901, et seq) authorizes the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART) to administer sex offender management grants. Section 637 of the Act authorizes the Department of Justice to conduct sex offender risk assessment studies, including analysis of assessment tools.
In 2008, the SMART Office and the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) funded a project that examined the predictive ability of the Static-99R in combination with the Sex Offender Treatment Intervention and Progress Scale (SOTIPS), a dynamic risk scale for adult sex offenders developed in 2001 by the state of Vermont. Results showed the combined use of these tools improved risk prediction accuracy better than either tool used alone. The SMART Office will replicate this study to further evaluate the effectiveness of this model of risk assessment.
The SOTIPS project has two components: 1) to replicate the 2008 study, and 2) to document how use of this model may inform and enhance sex offender supervision and treatment practices. NIJ will manage the evaluation of this project and the SMART Office will manage the two project sites: New York City, NY and Maricopa County, AZ. Both project sites will implement SOTIPS with fidelity over a period of 30 months. The total study population will include between 900 to 1,000 sex offenders who will be assessed at three time intervals during the grant period. Project sites will receive training and technical assistance on administering and scoring SOTIPS and will provide SOTIPS data to the project evaluator for evaluation purposes.
Grant projects will operate for 5 years as assessments will take place through year 4 and project sites will provide 1-year and 3-year recidivism data for study participants to the evaluator. Project sites will enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with the evaluator agreeing to provide recidivism data for those study participants whose recidivism data can only be obtained after the period of the grant.