Does Gender Moderate the Predictive Utility of the Level Of Service Inventory–Revised (LSI-R) for Serious Violent Offenders?

A prison inmate’s risk of recidivism is central to decisions about whether to release her to serve a portion of her sentence on parole. Although several tools have been developed to improve accuracy in estimating the risk of future reoffense, few have been validated with the ever-growing population of female offenders. This study compared the utility of the Level of Service Inventory–Revised (LSI-R) in predicting recidivism for 70 female and 1,035 male offenders who had been convicted of serious violent offenses. The LSI-R predicted 1-year general recidivism quite well for women. Although gender did not moderate the utility of the LSI-R in predicting recidivism, risk factors that best predicted recidivism differed for men and women. Implications for risk assessment and parole decision making with female inmates are discussed.