Australian terrorism prediction tool, Autism, criminality

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Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Age: 66
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Posts: 32,864
Location: Long Island, New York

12 May 2023, 9:41 am

Australian terrorism prediction tool considered autism a sign of criminality despite lack of evidence

A tool designed to predict future crime in terrorist offenders considered them at greater risk of offending if they were autistic despite having no empirical basis to do so, an independent report has found.

The report into the Vera-2R tool, which was released to Guardian Australia and others under freedom of information laws, found a lack of evidence underpinning the instrument had “potentially serious implications for [its] validity and reliability” and found it was “extremely poor” at predicting risk.

It also found that autism spectrum disorders, as well as non-compliance with conditions or supervision, were included as risk factors in the tool, despite a lack of empirical evidence.

The most comprehensive systematic review that has been conducted on the drivers of radicalisation and terrorist behaviour and violence found not a single piece of empirical evidence that supported the inclusion of those two factors, the report found.

The release of the critical report came after a series of Guardian Australia stories which exposed the federal government’s continued use of the tool despite criticisms. The federal government did not disclose the report to the lawyers of convicted offenders, its own experts, or the NSW government, which uses the tool to justify harsh post-sentence orders for offenders, including ongoing detention.

The report, titled “Testing the Reliability, Validity and Equity of Terrorism Risk Assessment Instruments”, was completed by Australian National University academics Dr Emily Corner and Dr Helen Taylor for the Department of Home Affairs and runs to more than 270 pages.

The government received the report, known as the Corner report, in May 2020.

It was released under FoI with minimal redactions, despite the federal government previously claiming it could not be released because of national security.

“The lack of evidence underpinning both instruments has potentially serious implications for their validity and reliability,” the report found.

“Without a strong theoretical and empirical basis for factor inclusion, it is not reasonable to anticipate that the instruments are able to predict their specified risk with anything other than chance.

Guardian Australia has previously reported the tool was used 14 times by the federal government after they received the report, and the NSW government also continued to use it to assess offenders, including some without convictions for terrorism.

Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity

“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman


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Joined: 4 Jan 2023
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12 May 2023, 9:48 am

It sounds like the magic 8-ball has more accuracy than the Vera-2R tool :roll:

This is the sign you have been looking for.


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Joined: 7 Jul 2014
Age: 123
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Posts: 33,825
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12 May 2023, 4:13 pm

So now the Australian government is pushing for autism screening for everyone at 12 months so the NDIS can save money via early intervention.
Is the intervention to prevent future terrorism, I wonder? :mrgreen:

It's like I'm sleepwalking