skip navigation

Add your conference to our Justice Events calendar


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the NCJRS Abstracts Database. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

  NCJ Number: NCJ 244477   Add to Shopping cart   Find in a Library
  Title: Comparison of Risk Assessment Instruments in Juvenile Justice
  Document URL: PDF 
  Author(s): Chris Baird ; Theresa Healy ; Kristen Johnson Ph.D. ; Andrea Bogie ; Erin Wicke Dankert ; Chris Scharenbroch
  Corporate Author: National Council on Crime and Delinquency
United States of America
  Date Published: 12/2013
  Page Count: 492
  Annotation: This study evaluated nine risk assessment instruments for juveniles in 10 jurisdictions by comparing their predictive validity, reliability, equity, and utility.
  Abstract: The study’s overall conclusion is that the proper use of valid, reliable risk assessment can improve decisionmaking regarding the risk level for recidivism; however, the study also found that the power of some risk assessment instruments to accurately classify juvenile offenders by risk level may have been overestimated. Only three of the nine risk instruments were capable of accurately separating cases into low, moderate, and high risk levels. Several risk instruments touted over the last decade have substantial shortcomings and fail to convey what is most important to correctional administrators, i.e., the difference in outcomes between risk levels and the distribution of cases across the risk continuum. Study findings indicate that simple, actuarial approaches to risk assessment can produce the strongest results. Adding factors with relatively weak statistical relations to recidivism - including dynamic factors and criminogenic needs - can result in reduced capacity to accurately identify high-, moderate- and low-risk offenders. The lack of standards for measuring instrument validity and reliability further complicates decisionmaking for administrators. Greater emphasis should be given to reliability testing and validation studies before and after risk assessment instruments are transferred to other jurisdictions. The establishment of national standards would assist in this effort. The nine risk instruments examined are the Positive Achievement Change Tool (PACT); the Youth Assessment and Screening Instrument (YASI); the Youth Level of Service/Case Management Inventory (YLS/CMI); the Comprehensive Risk and Needs Assessment (CRN); the Juvenile Sanction Center risk assessment instrument; the Girls Link risk assessment instrument; the Arizona Administrative Office of the Courts risk assessment instrument; the Arizona Department of Juvenile Correction Dynamic Risk Instrument (DRI); and the Oregon Juvenile Crime Prevention (JCP) assessment. 24 tables, 78 references, and appended risk/needs assessment systems, validation results by site, reliability results by site, expert scorer qualification, staff perceptions, and administrator advice
  Main Term(s): Juvenile justice research
  Index Term(s): Comparative analysis ; Risk management ; Juvenile Recidivism ; Juvenile recidivism prediction ; Instrument validation ; OJJDP final report ; Screening Instruments
  Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
US Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America
  Grant Number: 2010-JR-FX-0021
  Sale Source: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
  Type: Report (Study/Research) ; Report (Grant Sponsored)
  Country: United States of America
  Language: English
  Note: Appendixes C-F are unavailable.
  To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.