Assessing recidivism risk across female pathways to crime

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

211 Scopus citations


Actuarial tools, such as the Level of Supervision Inventory-Revised (LSI-R), are regularly used to classify offenders as "high," "medium," and "low" recidivism risks. Its supporters argue the theory upon which the LSI-R rests (i.e., social learning theory) accounts for criminal behavior among men and women. In short, the LSI-R is gender-neutral. Feminist criminologists question the LSI-R's validity for female offender populations, especially women under community supervision. Guided by Daly's (1992, 1994) pathways to crime framework, we use a sample of women under community supervision in Minnesota and Oregon to evaluate the LSI-R's performance across offender subgroups. The results show that the LSI-R misclassifies a significant portion of socially and economically marginalized women with gendered offending contexts. Predictive accuracy was observed for women who did not follow gendered pathways into criminality, whose offending context was similar to males, and who occupied a relatively advantaged social location.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)384-405
Number of pages22
JournalJustice Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Community corrections
  • LSI-R
  • Recidivism
  • Risk
  • Women offenders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law


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