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Saturday, 20 July 2013

Your report to the Court will describe what you believe Bernardo’s level of risk is for future sexual violence to be and why you believe it to be such

The assignment should be single-spaced, formatted in 12-point, Times New Roman font with 1 inch margins. It should not exceed four pages. (A title page is not required and does not count in the four-page limit. Instead simply put your name and student number as a header.) Papers that do not meet these specifications will be penalized. Grammar and writing will form part of your grade on this assignment.
Note: The tutor-marker will not grade beyond the maximum page limit. Put another way, the tutor-marker will not grade anything on page five.
As you will be discussing your risk assessment you should not need to quote others in your paper. Should you decide to use other articles in your paper (e.g., when discussing the different types of risk assessment methods) you should use your own words to describe what others have said (and cite them, of course) as this will demonstrate your understanding of the concepts. You should not include direct quotes from other authors.
You will need the following to complete this assignment:
  1. All of the information that you have collected on the case.
  2. Your class notes and knowledge about risk assessment.
  3. The RSVP item descriptions (week 4).
  4. The RSVP worksheet (week 4)
  5. The scoring instructions for the RSVP (week 7).
  6. Static-99 coding rules revised—2003.The Static-99 manual (week 4).
  7. The Static-99 worksheet
The subject for your assessment assignment will be revealed in Week 7 after the midterm exam.
Assessment Subject
It is February 17, 1993 and you have been hired by the Court to conduct a risk assessment of Paul Bernardo, who was just today arrested for the murders of two teenage women. Bernardo has not yet been formally charged for the murders and the trial has not begun. As part of your risk assessment you have decided to score Bernardo on the Static-99 and the RSVP.
Your report to the Court will describe what you believe Bernardo’s level of risk is for future sexual violence to be and why you believe it to be such. Your reasons why should be based on the instruments you have used (i.e., the overall risk scores and the risk factors) and what you know about risk assessment. Remember the court will not share your level of knowledge of risk assessment, so you can use what we have learned in the course to prove your point. You will also present both your Static-99 and RSVP worksheets.
Note: You need only make past and current ratings on the RSVP worksheet and a case prioritization rating for overall risk. You do not need to rate each item on future risk, come up with scenarios for future violence or management strategies.
In order to complete this assignment you will need to collect information about Bernardo from the Internet.  All of the information that you need is freely available online (e.g., Wikipedia, news stories). If there are risk factors that you cannot find information about, indicate it on the corresponding worksheet. Remember your assessment is for use at trial. The trial has not begun, and Bernardo has not yet been convicted of the two murders.
While the worksheets are necessary to complete in order to write your paper, each of the risk factors will not be graded for accuracy. Instead, there will be an overall assessment of accuracy. Do not worry if you are not exactly sure of how to score one particular item; just read the instructions that you have been given and do your best.
You should discuss your decision about the risk Bernardo poses for future sexual violence based on the overall risk level (RSVP = case prioritization, Static-99 = risk category that corresponds to the total score you got) that each instrument leads you to select, the individual factors which you were able to consider using each instrument, and your knowledge of risk assessment. If the instruments lead you to make different conclusions about risk, you should indicate which you believe to be correct and why. (Remember you cannot refer to the fact that he was convicted or cite evidence that was not yet known when he was arrested.)You may want to ask yourself:
  • Which instrument leads you to what you believe is the correct decision?
  • Which risk factors are the most relevant to risk for sexual violence in this case?
  • What flaws do you see?
This section of your paper—where you describe and defend your chosen risk level—is what will inform the majority of your grade.

Over the next few weeks you need to read through and understand these risk assessment manuals. Here is what you need to concentrate on:
  • Static-99
    • In this manual, the important information is in “Scoring the 10 Items” section (pp. 23–56).
    • The Static-99 and RSVP manuals state that official information and other information is required, because the case you will be coding is so infamous everything you need to score this case is available online.
    • The term “index offence” refers to the current offence for us this will means the two counts on which the offender was arrested in 1993.
    • Appendix 5 contains a coding sheet and the total score categories and labels. You should use this to keep score as you go through the case.
    • Just after the coding sheet, you will see tables where you can look up the likelihood of recidivism. You may report and discuss this value as part of your paper if you want to, but it is not required.
  • RSVP
    • Read the PDF of item descriptions.
    • Look over the RSVP worksheet.
    • In week 7, you will receive a Word document describing how to score the RSVP for the particular case that you will be assessing.
    • >>Get more details on this paper here<<< 

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