The authors compared the ability of 3 commonly used measures of risk of future offending in a sample of 315 mentally disordered offenders discharged from a medium-secure unit in the United Kingdom. The authors explored whether the same criminogenic factors that predict recidivism in the general population also predict recidivism in mentally disordered offenders. The actuarial measure, using mainly criminological variables, provided the best prediction of recidivism compared with measures based on personality or clinical information, which provided no incremental validity over the actuarial measure. The authors suggest that for maximum efficacy clinical risk should be rated at a time of active symptoms rather than at discharge when symptoms are minimal.
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