Predicting Recidivism With the Psychological Inventory of Criminal Thinking Styles (PICTS) in Community-Supervised Male and Female Federal Offenders

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Abstract

Higher order scores derived from the Psychological Inventory of Criminal Thinking Styles (PICTS; Walters, 1995) have been found to predict recidivism in released prison inmates with effect sizes in the low-moderate to medium range. The current study sought to determine whether the PICTS is capable of predicting general recidivism in a sample of 81,881 male and 14,519 female offenders on federal probation or supervised release. Results indicated that the PICTS General Criminal Thinking, Proactive, and Reactive scores and 6 of the 7 thinking style scales predicted recidivism in follow-ups of 6 or more months, 12 or more months, and 24 or more months with effect sizes in the low-moderate to medium range. The effect sizes were reduced to small and low-moderate, respectively, when age and prior arrests were controlled for in a series of partial correlations. It was also noted that the PICTS General Criminal Thinking score contributed significant diagnostic information to recidivism prediction in both males and females above and beyond the information provided by a comprehensive risk assessment procedure. These results indicate that the PICTS may be a useful adjunct to other risk assessment procedures in providing comprehensive risk prediction and management services to offenders under community supervision.

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