skip navigation


Abstract Database

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

To download this abstract, check the box next to the NCJ number then click the "Back To Search Results" link. Then, click the "Download" button on the Search Results page. Also 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: 206061 Find in a Library
Title: Youth Risk/Need Assessment: An Overview of Issues and Practices
Author(s): Kelly Hannah-Moffat; Paula Maurutto
Date Published: April 2003
Page Count: 69
Sponsoring Agency: Canada Dept of Justice
Ottawa , ON K1A 0H8, Canada
Publication Number: RR03Y J-4e
Sale Source: Canada Dept of Justice
Research and Statistics Division
284 Wellington Street
Ottawa , ON K1A 0H8,
Document: PDF
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Document (Online)
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: This study reviewed and critiqued the concepts of "risk" and "need" as they relate to assessments of youth within the Canadian criminal justice system, and it identified risk/need assessment tools currently used with young offenders in Canada.
Abstract: Each Provincial/Territorial government was contacted and asked about the primary risk/need assessment instruments used with young offenders, and interviews were conducted with staff to determine the purpose and practice of risk/need assessment at various key decisionmaking stages of the criminal justice system. Attention was given to why certain tools were selected, and information was obtained on any research related to the effectiveness of the risk/need assessment instruments being used. An in-depth analysis of the reliability and validity of the scales was not possible because of a lack of relevant data available for secondary analysis. Researchers conducted 71 semistructured, open-ended interviews in all Provinces and Territories, with the exception of Quebec. There are still a number of questions about the reliability and validity of risk/need instruments currently being used with young offenders, particularly in relation to gender and non-White youth. Some problem areas identified were a tendency to merge risk and need; the potential for gender, racial, or cultural disparity; inconsistency in practitioners' interpretations and understandings of risk/need assessment scores, insufficient training, an absence of uniform audits, inconsistent use of overrides, and concern about the availability of community resources required to manage the risk and needs of youthful offenders. Recommendations pertain to training for the proper administration of the risk/need assessment tool being used, a policy of allowing staff to override instrument findings, reassessments, audits, and community resources. 58 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile offender classification
Index Term(s): Dangerousness; Diagnostic and reception processing; Foreign juvenile justice systems; Instrument validation; Needs assessment; Threat assessment
Note: Downloaded July 8, 2004.
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.