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The cross-cultural fairness of the LS/RNR: An Australian analysis.
Law and Human Behavior  (IF3.87),  Pub Date : 2022-06-01, DOI: 10.1037/lhb0000486
Linda J Ashford,Benjamin L Spivak,James R P Ogloff,Stephane M Shepherd

OBJECTIVE Cross-cultural research into risk assessment instruments has often identified comparable levels of discrimination. However, cross-cultural fairness is rarely addressed. Therefore, this study explored the discrimination and fairness of the Level of Service/Risk, Need, Responsivity (LS/RNR) within a sample of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males. HYPOTHESES We hypothesized that discrimination would not be significantly different for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals and non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals. We further hypothesized that some fairness definitions would be unsatisfied. METHOD The study included 380 males (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, n = 180) from Australia. Discrimination was assessed with the area under the curve (AUC) and cross AUC (xAUC). To determine fairness, error rate balance, calibration, predictive parity, and statistical parity were used. RESULTS The discrimination of the LS/RNR was not statistically different (p = .61) between groups. The xAUC identified disparities (p < .001), with the LS/RNR being unable to discriminate between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nonreoffenders and non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander reoffenders (xAUC = .46, 95% CI [.35, .57]). Disparities among certain fairness definitions were identified, with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals scoring higher on the LS/RNR (d = 0.52) and nonreoffenders being classified as high risk more often. CONCLUSIONS The findings suggest that the LS/RNR may not be a cross-culturally fair risk assessment instrument for Australian individuals, and standard discrimination indices with comparable levels do not imply that a risk assessment instrument is cross-culturally fair. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).