The ability to predict criminal conduct is an important piece in providing reentry programming that is individualized and effective. As we’ve discussed previously, a majority of GEO Reentry Services reentry programs use the LSI-R to assess participants’ criminogenic needs and recidivism risks. This risk/needs assessment tool, completed by trained professionals, helps to identify predictors of criminal conduct, which in turn helps to determine a participant’s behavior change plan.
This post will discuss the general predictors of criminal conduct that specific GEO Reentry staff members are trained to assess.
A participant’s origins. This includes socioeconomic origins and family origins. If a participant comes from a low-income neighborhood or from a family with antisocial attitudes, neglect, abuse, or other lack of affection, a participant’s chances of participating in criminal activity increase.
Personality, temperament and mental health. Traits like egocentrism, impulsiveness, pleasure-seeking tendencies, poor problem-solving, a lack of shame and anger issues can increase the likelihood that someone will participate in criminal activity. A person’s values and attitudes also contribute, including antisocial tendencies and a rejection in the validity of the law. A lack of mental health, such as active psychosis with delusions, also acts as a predictor.
Behavioral history. Behavioral history includes childhood history and the recent history that has led a participant to our programs. Early behavioral history that are key indicators would be a childhood diagnosis of a conduct disorder and frequent cases of misconduct. Other behavioral history includes criminal history and alcohol and drug abuse.
Education history. Predictors include low levels of education and long periods of unemployment, including aimless leisure time. A parent’s education level is also taken into consideration.
Relationships and affiliations. Relationships can be stabilizing or highly detrimental, and for participants struggling to get back on track, interpersonal relationships are very important in determining criminal risk. Predictors include relationships with antisocial people, drug users, the lack of a strong relationship with anyone who doesn’t participate in criminal activity, an unstable marital history and a feeling of indifference to the opinions of others.
While none of these risk factors definitively determine whether someone will commit a crime, taken together, they can help to determine the likelihood that a participant will recidivate.
As discussed in our previous post, linked above, participants are given a numerical score for these different risk factors which contribute to an overall score that is used to determine their behavior change plan.