Photo of Ralph Serin

Ralph Serin


Degrees:Ph.D. (Queen's)

Research Interests

I am interested in the interface between psychology and criminal justice and my research interests focus on decision making and correctional programming.  The former considers correctional and parole decision-making, with an emphasis on models to improve standardization and research regarding accuracy.  The latter work encompasses assessment of treatment readiness and treatment needs; measurement of programming gains; and pathways to desistance; all with a view to understanding differential outcomes.

Current research initiatives include:

  1. Criminal justice decision-making:
    • Utilization of case-based vignettes to contribute to an understanding of the process of release decision-making
    • Development and testing a model of parole decision making.
  2. Programming research:
    • Development of an offender competency model to inform correctional programming
    • Understanding factors leading to crime desistence
    • Multi-method assessment of treatment readiness and offender change to inform program evaluation research
    • Development of decision models to incorporate correctional programming into risk appraisals and decision-making.
    • Staff skills in effective correctional programs
  3. Violent offenders:
    • Research to distinguish types of violent offenders to inform various correctional outcomes. In particular, I am interested in inhibitory control mechanisms and factors leading to desistance from violent offending.


Abracen, J., Looman, J., Mailloux, D.L., Serin, R.C., & Malcolm, P.B. (2005), Clarification regarding Marshall and Yate’s Critique of dosage of treatment to sexual offenders: Are we overprescribing?, International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 49 (2) , 225-230.

Abracen, J., Mailloux, D. L., Serin, R. C., Cousineau, C., Malcolm, P. B. & Looman, J. (2004).  A model for the assessment of static and dynamic factors in sexual offenders. The Journal of Sex Research, 41 (4), 321-328 .

Looman, J., Abracen, J., Serin, R. C., Marquis, P. (2005).  Psychopathy, treatment change and recidivism in high risk high need sexual offenders. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 20 (5), 549-568.

Mailloux, D. L. & Serin, R. C. (2003). Sexual assaults during hostage-takings and forcible confinements: Implications for practice. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 15(3), 161-170.

Serin, R. C., Mailloux, D. L., & Malcolm, P. B. (2001). Psychopathy, deviant sexual arousal, and recidivism among sexual offenders. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 16 , 234-246.

Vitale, J., Newman, J.P., Serin, R.C., & Bolt, D.M. (2005).  Hostile Attributions in Incarcerated Adult Male Offenders:  An Exporation of Diverse Pathways.  Aggressive Behavior , 31, (2), 99-115.

Book Chapters
Serin, R. C . (2004). Enhancing assessment and management of violent offenders in corrections: Integration of theory and practice.  In D. Fishbein (Ed.). The Science, Treatment, and Prevention of Antisocial Behaviours , Vol. 2., Civic Research Institute, New Jersey, pp. 12-1 to 12-13.

Serin, R. C. (2003). Expanding the “What Works” agenda for effective corrections: The role of correctional staff.  International Community Corrections Association Monograph, 8(2) . Wisconsin: Civic Research Institute.

Serin, R. C. (2001). Treatability, treatment responsivity, and risk management. In K.S. Douglas, C. D. Webster, S. D. Hart, D. Eaves, & J. R. P. Ogloff (Eds.). HCR-20 Violence Risk Management Companion Guide , pp. 109-118. Mental Health, Law and Policy Institute, Simon Fraser University.

Serin, R. C. & Brown, S.L. (2005). Social Cognition in Psychopaths: Implications for offender assessment and treatment. In M. McMurran and J. McGuire’s Social Problem-Solving and Offenders , pp. 249-264. London, John Wiley & Sons.

Serin, R. C. & Brown, S.L. (2000). The clinical use of the Hare Psychopathy Checklist – Revised (PCL-R) in contemporary risk assessment. In C. Gacono (Ed.), The clinical and forensic assessment of psychopathy: A practitioner’s guide , p. 251-268. Mahwah, NJ. Erlbaum.

Serin, R. C. & Mailloux, D. L. (2003). Assessment of sex offenders: Lessons learned from the assessment of non-sex offenders. In Prentky, R. & Seto, M. (Eds.). Understanding Sexually Coercive Behavior , p. 185-197.  New York Academy of Sciences.

Serin, R. C. & Preston, D. L. (2001). Managing and treating violent offenders. In J.B. Ashford, B.D. Sales, and W. Reid (Eds.). Treating adult and juvenile offenders with special needs , pp. 249-272. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Serin, R. C. & Preston, D. L. (2001). Designing, implementing and managing treatment programs for violent offenders. In G.A. Bernfeld, D.P. Farrington, and A.W. Leischied (Eds.). Offender rehabilitation in practice: Implementing and evaluating effective programs , p.205-221. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.


College of Psychologists of Ontario
Canadian Psychological Association
Association for Treatment of Sexual Abusers

Graduate Supervisions

Shauna Bottos (MA) – thesis to be determined
Renee Gobeil (MA) – Parole decision making and cognitive style.
Sylivie Lalonde (MA) – Treatment readiness in young offenders.
Mark Latendresse (MA) – Treatment readiness in sex offenders.
Caleb Lloyd (MA) – thesis to be determined
Marianna Shturman (PhD) – thesis to be determined
Terri-Lynn Thomas (MA) -Testing a structured parole decision making model.