Gender-Responsiveness in Corrections: Estimating Female Inmate Misconduct Risk Using the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI)

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Proper inmate assessment is critical to correctional management and institutional security. While many instruments have been developed to assist with this process, most of these tools have not been validated using samples of female inmates although distinct gender differences have been identified in the inmate population in terms of adaptation and misconduct. The Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI) is a multiscale measure of psychopathology that is being increasingly utilized in the correctional setting to assist with the inmate classification process. The current study contributes to the dearth of literature surrounding gender-responsive inmate classification by utilizing a sample of 2,000 female inmates to examine the incremental and predictive validity of the PAI in association with general and assaultive disciplinary infractions. Findings from this study reveal that the PAI scales presenting the strongest relationship to general and assaultive disciplinary infractions among this female sample included Aggression (AGG), Antisocial Features (ANT), Paranoia (PAR), and the Violence Potential Index (VPI). Moreover, findings derived from this study suggest that certain PAI measures, specifically ARD-T, DRU, and more general substance abuse and mental health indicators may be useful in gender-responsive assessments during the female inmate classification process.

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