STABLE-2007 and Indeterminate Detention


  • Andrew J. R. Harris


Public safety is the primary reason to assess future risk in men with a history of sexual offending. Over the last twenty-five years our knowledge of, and ability to assess, dynamic risk factors in men with a history of sexual offending has meaningfully improved, but understanding, adoption, utilization, and reasonable implementation of the fruits of this new knowledge is not universal. This article presents a brief overview of the development of dynamic risk assessment for men with a history of sexual offending, primarily following the work of R. Karl Hanson and his associates. This is followed by a review of a meta-analysis on the reliability and validity of STABLE-2007 and two other independent studies that provide useful ancillary information. Utilizing STABLE-2007 with men faced with, or under sanction of indeterminate detention is the focus of this paper and we will review how mental health diagnoses affect recidivism assessment, some concerns about implicit assessment biases, how to employ stable dynamic assessment in secure facilities, address treatment implications resulting from dynamic assessment, and present ideas for future research. I will close by presenting nine (9) arguments why using STABLE-2007 is recommended practice with indeterminate detention populations.