Document Type

Journal Article


Actuarial risk assessments have been criticized for their insensitivity to the unique risk/ needs profiles of minority offenders. This study investigated the offender need characteristics and the predictive utility of the Level of Service Inventory-Revised (LSI-R) for Australian Indigenous offenders. Indigenous offenders scored higher on every LSI-R subscale and the total score compared to non-Indigenous offenders. Indigenous male offenders also indicated specific needs related to education and employment whereas living arrangement and constructive leisure time needs were apparent for female offenders. Associations with antisocial companions provided the best predictor of re-offending for Indigenous male offenders, while familial discord best predicted re-offending for Indigenous female offenders. Furthermore, issues concerning constructive leisure time were relevant for all Indigenous offenders, but not for non-Indigenous offenders. Results are discussed in terms of the sensitivity debate of generic actuarial risk assessment, cultural differences between offender groups, and implications for treatment/rehabilitation.