Predicting Institutional Violence among Death Row Inmates: The Utility of the Sorensen and Pilgrim Model Academic Article uri icon


  • The (Sorensen and Pilgrim, An actuarial risk assessment of violence posed by capital murder defendants. J Crim Law Criminol 90:1251-1270, 2000) actuarial model was developed to predict institutional violence among life-sentenced murderers. However, despite its presentation at capital sentencing, the model has not been validated on death row inmates specifically. This study examined the association between Sorensen and Pilgrim model scores and five types of institutional violence (serious assaults, minor assaults, verbal assault/threats, prison order offenses, and non-violent infractions) among a sample of 155 individuals who had been incarcerated on death row in Texas. Results revealed that risk scores performed better for non-violent infractions than for serious assaults, calling into question the utility of this measure for capital sentencing evaluations. 2008 Springer Science + Business Media, LLC.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Buffington-Vollum, J. K., Edens, J. F., & Keilen, A.

citation count

  • 3

complete list of authors

  • Buffington-Vollum, Jacqueline K||Edens, John F||Keilen, Andrea

publication date

  • June 2008