Gender and risk assessment: The empirical status of the LSI-R for women

Kristy Holtfreter, Rhonda Cupp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

107 Scopus citations


The developers of the Level of Service Inventory-Revised (LSI-R) argue that actuarial risk instruments, and the theoretical framework on which they are based, are "gender neutral" and apply to all offenders in a variety of correctional settings. Although there is empirical support for this perspective, recent research using more representative female offender samples suggests that the LSI-R "works" differently for various offender groups (e.g., women who follow "gendered" pathways to crime). The bulk of research used to support claims of gender neutrality is based on males. This research evaluates these claims by reviewing the empirical research on the LSI-R for female offenders published over a 20-year period (1986 - 2006). Based on the evidence, the authors identify directions for future research on gender and risk assessment and also discuss implications for correctional classification and treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)363-382
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Contemporary Criminal Justice
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Gender
  • LSI-R
  • Risk assessment
  • Women offenders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law


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