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Predicting general criminal recidivism in mentally disordered offenders using a random forest approach.

Pflueger MO, Franke I, Graf M, Hachtel H - BMC Psychiatry (2015)

Bottom Line: Psychiatric expert opinions are supposed to assess the accused individual's risk of reoffending based on a valid scientific foundation.With our statistical approach we were able to correctly identify 58-95% of all reoffenders and 65-97% of all committed offences (AUC = .90).This approach might serve not only for expert opinions in court, but also for risk management strategies and therapeutic interventions.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Forensic Psychiatry, University Psychiatric Clinics, Wilhelm Klein-Str. 27, CH-4012, Basel, Switzerland. marlon.pflueger@upkbs.ch.

ABSTRACT

Background: Psychiatric expert opinions are supposed to assess the accused individual's risk of reoffending based on a valid scientific foundation. In contrast to specific recidivism, general recidivism has only been poorly considered in Continental Europe; we therefore aimed to develop a valid instrument for assessing the risk of general criminal recidivism of mentally ill offenders.

Method: Data of 259 mentally ill offenders with a median time at risk of 107 months were analyzed and combined with the individuals' criminal records. We derived risk factors for general criminal recidivism and classified re-offences by using a random forest approach.

Results: In our sample of mentally ill offenders, 51% were reconvicted. The most important predictive factors for general criminal recidivism were: number of prior convictions, age, type of index offence, diversity of criminal history, and substance abuse. With our statistical approach we were able to correctly identify 58-95% of all reoffenders and 65-97% of all committed offences (AUC = .90).

Conclusions: Our study presents a new statistical approach to forensic-psychiatric risk-assessment, allowing experts to evaluate general risk of reoffending in mentally disordered individuals, with a special focus on high-risk groups. This approach might serve not only for expert opinions in court, but also for risk management strategies and therapeutic interventions.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Sample structure of the Basel Prognosis Cohort Study. N = 365 mentally disturbed offenders were examined between 1989 and 2000. N = 352 were consecutively convicted and N = 259 were incarcerated (arrest) or received forensic therapeutic treatment (treatment). Premature recidivism refers to recidivism that occurred prior to release from jail or the end of forensic treatment.
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Fig1: Sample structure of the Basel Prognosis Cohort Study. N = 365 mentally disturbed offenders were examined between 1989 and 2000. N = 352 were consecutively convicted and N = 259 were incarcerated (arrest) or received forensic therapeutic treatment (treatment). Premature recidivism refers to recidivism that occurred prior to release from jail or the end of forensic treatment.

Mentions: The recidivism pattern associated with those interventions was quite stable (~51% ± 11%, cf. Figure 1). In total, from all n = 259 subjects, n = 128 showed criminal recidivism, and a subgroup of n = 17 (13%) violent recidivism.Figure 1


Predicting general criminal recidivism in mentally disordered offenders using a random forest approach.

Pflueger MO, Franke I, Graf M, Hachtel H - BMC Psychiatry (2015)

Sample structure of the Basel Prognosis Cohort Study. N = 365 mentally disturbed offenders were examined between 1989 and 2000. N = 352 were consecutively convicted and N = 259 were incarcerated (arrest) or received forensic therapeutic treatment (treatment). Premature recidivism refers to recidivism that occurred prior to release from jail or the end of forensic treatment.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4384374&req=5

Fig1: Sample structure of the Basel Prognosis Cohort Study. N = 365 mentally disturbed offenders were examined between 1989 and 2000. N = 352 were consecutively convicted and N = 259 were incarcerated (arrest) or received forensic therapeutic treatment (treatment). Premature recidivism refers to recidivism that occurred prior to release from jail or the end of forensic treatment.
Mentions: The recidivism pattern associated with those interventions was quite stable (~51% ± 11%, cf. Figure 1). In total, from all n = 259 subjects, n = 128 showed criminal recidivism, and a subgroup of n = 17 (13%) violent recidivism.Figure 1

Bottom Line: Psychiatric expert opinions are supposed to assess the accused individual's risk of reoffending based on a valid scientific foundation.With our statistical approach we were able to correctly identify 58-95% of all reoffenders and 65-97% of all committed offences (AUC = .90).This approach might serve not only for expert opinions in court, but also for risk management strategies and therapeutic interventions.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Forensic Psychiatry, University Psychiatric Clinics, Wilhelm Klein-Str. 27, CH-4012, Basel, Switzerland. marlon.pflueger@upkbs.ch.

ABSTRACT

Background: Psychiatric expert opinions are supposed to assess the accused individual's risk of reoffending based on a valid scientific foundation. In contrast to specific recidivism, general recidivism has only been poorly considered in Continental Europe; we therefore aimed to develop a valid instrument for assessing the risk of general criminal recidivism of mentally ill offenders.

Method: Data of 259 mentally ill offenders with a median time at risk of 107 months were analyzed and combined with the individuals' criminal records. We derived risk factors for general criminal recidivism and classified re-offences by using a random forest approach.

Results: In our sample of mentally ill offenders, 51% were reconvicted. The most important predictive factors for general criminal recidivism were: number of prior convictions, age, type of index offence, diversity of criminal history, and substance abuse. With our statistical approach we were able to correctly identify 58-95% of all reoffenders and 65-97% of all committed offences (AUC = .90).

Conclusions: Our study presents a new statistical approach to forensic-psychiatric risk-assessment, allowing experts to evaluate general risk of reoffending in mentally disordered individuals, with a special focus on high-risk groups. This approach might serve not only for expert opinions in court, but also for risk management strategies and therapeutic interventions.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus