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Abstract: The Violence Risk Appraisal Guide—Revised (VRAG-R): Application to Sex Offenders

The presentation will focus on the Revised version of the Violence Risk Appraisal Guide (VRAG-R; Harris, Rice, Quinsey, & Cormier, 2014; Rice, Harris, & Lang, 2013) for the assessment of the risk of violent (including all hands-on sexual) recidivism among late adolescent and adult male sex offenders. The presentation will review the development of the instrument, including its evolution from the VRAG and SORAG. Information about replications of the VRAG/SORAG and how those findings impact the likely replicability of the VRAG-R will also be presented as will data pertaining to whether VRAG-R scores should be reduced as a sex offender ages. Also briefly addressed will be the effect of offense-free exposure to the community, the interaction of psychopathy and sexual deviance, and the appropriate understanding of “dynamic and protective” factors.


Grant T. Harris, Ph.D. is an associate professor of psychology at Queen’s University at Kingston, and professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto. He is a fellow of the Canadian Psychological Association and member of the research team that was awarded the Amethyst Award for Outstanding Achievement by Ontario Public Servants. He has been awarded several competitive research grants and published more than 100 scholarly works on the topics of actuarial violence risk assessment, sexual aggression, psychopathy, and the assessment and treatment of offenders and psychiatric clients. And for each topic, his work has addressed four issues: risks for the phenomenon, appropriate intervention, translation of knowledge for practitioners, and policy implications of the findings.