Influence of the HCR-20, LS/CMI, and PCL-R on Decisions About Parole Suitability Among Lifers

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry

Publication Date


Document Type



Law and Psychology | Mental and Social Health | Psychiatry | Psychiatry and Psychology


Among 5,181 inmates indeterminately sentenced to life in California who were evaluated for parole suitability between January 2009 and November 2010, 11% were granted parole. After administration of the HCR-20, LS/CMI, and PCL-R, psychologists judged most inmates (78%) to be at low or moderate risk for future violence. This overall risk rating (ORR) was significantly associated with parole suitability decisions. Moderate to large associations were observed between the ORR and all risk indices. The HCR-20 Clinical and Risk Management scales demonstrated the strongest associations with parole suitability decisions. Among the LS/CMI scales, Procriminal Attitudes and Leisure/Recreation were most predictive of failure to obtain parole. PCL-R scores had little influence on parole suitability decisions beyond the HCR-20 and LS/CMI. Overall, findings suggest parole board members' decisions were consistent with empirically supported practice, in that individuals assessed to be at relatively low risk were far more likely to be granted parole than those assessed to be at moderate or high risk for future violence. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).

DOI of Published Version



Law Hum Behav. 2014 Nov 3. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Law and human behavior

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Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID