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The European Journal of Psychology Applied to Legal Context

On-line version ISSN 1989-4007Print version ISSN 1889-1861

Abstract

SCHMIDT, Stefanie; VAN DER MEER, Elke; TYDECKS, Stefan  and  BLIESENER, Thomas. How Culture and Migration Affect Risk Assessment. The European Journal of Psychology Applied to Legal Context [online]. 2018, vol.10, n.2, pp.65-78. ISSN 1989-4007.  http://dx.doi.org/10.5093/ejpalc2018a7.

We systematically linked cross-cultural literature to the Central Eight risk factors as an example of risk assessment procedures. We expected offenders with a migration background (MB) from Turkey or Arab countries to score higher on criminal history, criminal attitudes, antisocial companions, and education and employment problems in comparison to German offenders without an MB. In contrast, for offenders with an MB from Turkey or Arab countries, a reduced risk for unsatisfactory relationships with their parents, alcohol, and leisure-related factors was assumed. The Central Eight risk factors were applied retrospectively for male offenders serving a sentence length of more than 12 months. German offenders without an MB (n = 214) were compared to offenders with a Turkish (n = 135) or Arab (n = 112) MB concerning risk profiles and predictive validity. Risk profiles of offenders with an MB deviated (d = 0.25-0.56) from risk profiles of German offenders without an MB. For offenders without an MB criminal history, antisocial personality, criminal attitudes, antisocial companions, and alcohol/drug problems significantly predicted (AUC = .56-.73) different recidivism events. Similar results were found for offenders with a Turkish MB (AUC = .60-.70) except for antisocial companions (AUC = .50). Results for offenders with an Arab MB were inconclusive; only alcohol/drug problems consistently showed good predictive values (AUC = .66-.68). Findings demonstrate that a culture-sensitive approach in risk assessment is inevitable and recommendations for culture-sensitive research, risk assessment, and offender treatment are discussed.

Keywords : Central eight risk factors; Predictive validity; Migration background; Arab countries; Turkey.

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