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J Am Acad Psychiatry Law. 2009;37(4):509-24.

A practical guide for the evaluation of sexual recidivism risk in mentally retarded sex offenders.

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  • 1PMB 242, 630 Quintana Road, Morro Bay, CA 93442, USA.


Although sex offender risk assessment has progressed greatly over the past decade and a half since most states implemented the sexually violent predator/sexually dangerous person (SVP/SDP) laws, there continues to be limited applicability of such models to intellectually disabled sex offenders because there has been no empirical validation. However, SVP/SDP civil commitment programs have reported increased admission of developmentally disabled sex offenders. Differentiating sexual deviance, the primary factor predisposing most individuals to criminal sexual violence, from impulsive, immature, and inappropriate behavior stemming from cognitive deficits presents yet another challenge to the clinician tasked with performing such evaluations. This article reviews actuarial risk models and their limited applicability to mentally retarded sex offenders and offers a conceptual method of assessing the risk of recidivism in intellectually disabled sex offenders under SVP/SDP evaluation.

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