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NCJ Number: NCJ 242398     Find in a Library
Title: Can Risk Assessment Improve Juvenile Justice Practices?
  Document URL: PDF 
Date Published: 12/2011
Page Count: 4
  Annotation: This study examined the implementation of risk/needs assessment tools in six juvenile probation offices in two States, with attention to the effects of the tools on probation officers’ practices.
Abstract: The study found that probation officers who used risk/needs assessment tools took risk factors into account in their recommendations for individual youths. Their decisions gave priority to the least restrictive but appropriate disposition for meeting the needs of each youth. In most of the sites, this resulted in lower levels of supervision for low-risk youths and more intensive services for high-risk youths based on the risk scores from the assessment. The resulting decrease in costs of probation supervision has not been accompanied by any increase in reoffending. The enlisting of these six pilot sites for the testing of the impact of using risk/needs assessment tools in juvenile probation stemmed from an emerging consensus in the juvenile justice field that punishment and sanctions do not deter juvenile re-offending. Research suggests that instead of basing sanctions only on the severity of the offense committed, a more effective approach is to match the type and intensity of probation supervision to the measured risk for reoffending and the criminogenic needs of the youth underlying the delinquent behavior. The use of the pilot sites intends to determine whether the use of a risk/needs assessment tool translates into decisions about disposition, placement, monitoring, and service delivery that match a youth’s risk level. The two States involved in the study are Pennsylvania and Louisiana. The risk/need assessment tool being used in the Louisiana sites are the Structured Assessment of Violence Risk for Youth (SAVRY); and Pennsylvania sites are using the Youth Level of Service/Case Management Inventory (YLS/CMI). There is considerable evidence of the reliability and validity of both tools. 3 figures
Main Term(s): Juvenile probation
Index Term(s): Risk management ; Juvenile probation effectiveness ; Juvenile correctional reform ; Louisiana ; Pennsylvania
Sponsoring Agency: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
United States of America
Sale Source: Models for Change
United States of America
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Country: United States of America
Language: English
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