Challenges for the theory and application of dynamic risk factors
The inclusion of dynamic factors in risk assessment measures used with forensic populations has largely been considered an improvement in both the accuracy and utility of these assessments in informing treatment and sentencing. However, there are important challenges associated with the current approach to the conceptualisation, identification, and use of dynamic factors in risk assessment. Whereas some of these challenges relate to applied settings (such as the use of measures with different offender populations), there are also deeper questions regarding the construct validity of dynamic risk measures and the methodological strategies used to identify them. More emphasis on theoretically-driven research is needed, to identify causal and explanatory relationships between dynamic risk factors and recidivism. We hope that highlighting these challenges can help to build a consensus on a future research agenda for dynamic risk factors.