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NCJ Number: NCJ 196815   Add to Shopping cart   Find in a Library
Title: Offender Risk Assessment in Virginia: A Three-Stage Evaluation
  Document URL: PDF 
Author(s): Brian J. Ostrom ; Matthew Kleiman ; Fred Chessman II ; Randall M. Hansen ; Neal B. Kauder
Corporate Author: National Ctr for State Courts
United States of America

Virginia Criminal Sentencing Cmssn
United States of America
Date Published: 2002
Page Count: 139
  Annotation: This evaluation examined whether risk assessment at the sentencing stage has proven to be a viable strategy for diverting nonviolent offenders from incarceration in Virginia.
Abstract: The evaluation team collected data to assess the risk assessment instrument during a 3-year pilot test that tracked the success (as measured by recidivism) of a group of diverted offenders in 6 of Virginia's 31 judicial circuits. The Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission (VCSC) designed the risk assessment instrument to identify -- from among eligible larceny, fraud, and drug offenders who would otherwise be recommended for incarceration by State sentencing guidelines -- offenders with the lowest probability of being reconvicted of a felony crime and divert them to some form of alternative punishment. The risk assessment instrument focused on offender characteristics and demographics, current offense information, prior adult criminal record, and prior juvenile contact with legal authorities. Information and data were developed on multiple case and offender characteristics for all offenders sentenced and diverted between 1997-1999; onsite observations and interviews with judges, probation officers, prosecutors, and defense counsel were conducted; and information was collected on the costs and benefits of diversion and recidivism. Based on its findings, the evaluation team concluded that the risk assessment instrument has been successful in identifying low-risk candidates for diversion. Risk assessment was well-received in the pilot courts by judges and probation officers. The instrument proved easy to administer, and the program led to cost savings without jeopardizing the safety of citizens. Further, the evaluation concluded that the theoretical framework and statistical analyses used to construct the risk assessment instrument were well-conceived and employed. This report recommends that following a revalidation of the factors included on the risk assessment instrument, the program should be implemented statewide. Extensive tables and figures, appended risk-assessment instrument and supplementary information, and an 80-item bibliography
Main Term(s): Corrections effectiveness
Index Term(s): Testing and measurement ; Alternatives to institutionalization ; Risk management ; Diversionary devices ; Instrument validation ; NIJ grant-related documents ; Virginia
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
US Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America
Grant Number: 98-CE-VX-0009
Publication Number: ISBN 0-89656-217-4
Sale Source: National Ctr for State Courts
300 Newport Avenue
Williamsburg, VA 23185-4147
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Country: United States of America
Language: English
Note: Dataset may be archived by the NIJ Data Resources Program at the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data
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