Structured Assessment of Protective Factors for violence risk
SAPROF - Sexual Offending NEW

Protective factors for sexual offending may be somewhat different from protective factors for general offending. For this reason, currently a SAPROF - Sexual Offending version is in development. This project has come together through an international collaboration between Gwenda Willis from New Zealand, David Thornton and Sharon Kelley from the US and Michiel de Vries Robbé from the Netherlands.


The SAPROF - Sexual Offending manual will be published in two different formats simultaneously:

1) as a stand-alone SAPROF-SO manual, to be used in an actuarial manner together with actuarial risk assessment tools

2) as an additional manual to the original SAPROF, to be used in an SPJ fashion alongside the SAPROF and together with SPJ risk assessment tools


To our knowledge the SAPROF-SO will be the first risk assessment tool designed to be used in either an SPJ or actuarial fashion. The SPJ version is particularly suited for settings where there is a familiarity with the SPJ approach and its emphasis on treatment and risk management, as well as at sites that already use the original SAPROF with individuals who pose risks for violent as well as for sexual offending. The actuarial version can also be used to help inform treatment and risk management, it may be particularly suited for settings where actuarial risk assessment tools are in common use, or where there is more of an emphasis on risk evaluation. The actuarial version is also designed to be able to contribute to single time-point forensic risk assessments.

Both the SPJ and actuarial versions include new items specific to sexual offending, and refinements to existing items based on relevant research. Both also include a response scale able to capture small, incremental changes in levels of protection present. At this time the main differences between the tools are: (i) the process through which conclusions are formulated regarding the final level of risk, and (ii) the organization of items (revised in the stand-alone actuarial manual to help facilitate clinical reasoning regarding SO cases). In addition, the proposed mechanism(s) through which a protective factor might operate for an individual have been incorporated into item descriptions also in an attempt to help facilitate clinical reasoning.

The SAPROF-SO actuarial manual and the SAPROF-SO SPJ additional manual are currently in development. A pilot actuarial manual has been designed and pilot research is ongoing. A pilot SPJ additional manual is forthcoming. Sites/agencies interested in receiving training in either version and contributing their data to our validation studies may contact Gwenda Willis at: