Actuarial models for assessing prison violence risk: revisions and extensions of the Risk Assessment Scale for Prison (RASP)

Assessment. 2006 Sep;13(3):253-65. doi: 10.1177/1073191106287791.


An investigation and extension of the Risk Assessment Scale for Prison (RASP-Potosi), an actuarially derived scale for the assessment of prison violence, was undertaken through a retrospective review of the disciplinary records of the first 12 months of confinement of a cohort of inmates entering the Florida Department of Corrections in 2002 and remaining throughout 2003 (N=14,088). A near replication of the RASP-Potosi and additional analyses based on other weighted logistic regression models were performed on an inmate subsample for whom all information categories were available (n=13,341). Younger age and shorter sentences were associated with increased violent misconduct. Older age, drug conviction, and higher educational attainment were associated with reduced violent misconduct. Regardless of whether the original RASP-Potosi or its progeny were utilized, or the custody level of the inmate sample, the models were modestly successful in predicting prison violence, with the area under the curve (AUC) ranging from .645 to .707.

MeSH terms

  • Actuarial Analysis*
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Florida / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Prisoners*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment*
  • Risk Factors
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology
  • Violence*