Juvenile Sex Offender Assessment Protocol-II (J-SOAP-II)

Prentky, Harris, and Righthand developed J-SOAP in 2000. After a thorough review of the literature at the time, 23 potential correlates of juvenile sex-offender recidivism were identified (Prentky & Righthand, 2003). After several studies were conducted, the instrument was updated, which is the current version, J-SOAP-II. "The J-SOAP is ... a 'structured risk assessment guide' that uses instrument-informed clinical judgment to determine level of recidivism risk" (Center for Families, Children & the Court, 2012, p. 11). It predicts sex and non-sex crimes. It was designed for juvenile male sex offenders between the ages of 12 and 18 who have already committed a sex crime or those who have a history of sexually coercing others.

The instrument includes a checklist of 28 items that comprise four scales. The first two scales, which measure static factors (factors that will remain stable throughout one's life), assess: (1) the youth's sexual drive or preoccupation, (2) the number of victims, (3) the youth's behavior problems, and (4) the history of prior offenses (Center for Families, Children & the Court, 2012).

The last two scales measure the following dynamic factors (factors that will change throughout one's life depending on one's situation): (1) the level of responsibility the youth accepts for his offense(s), (2) the level of empathy, (3) the ability to manage sexual urges, and (4) stability in school.

Each scale's score is totaled for an overall score. Higher scores indicate higher risk. The clinician, based on a comprehensive evaluation, determines the level of risk. The scores for the subscales can be used to make decisions regarding treatment, placement, level of supervision for those on probation/parole, and the youth's progress in treatment. The instrument, especially the dynamic scales, can be administered several times over an extended period of time to measure progress.

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