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NCJ Number: 249724 Find in a Library
Title: Model Programs Guide Literature Review: Risk/Needs Assessments for Youths
Series: OJJDP Model Programs Guide Literature Reviews
Corporate Author: Development Services Group, Inc.
United States of America
Date Published: January 2015
Page Count: 10
Sponsoring Agency: Development Services Group, Inc.
Bethesda, MD 20814
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 2013-JF-FX-K002
Sale Source: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
US Dept of Justice
810 Seventh Street NW
Washington, DC 20531
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Best Practice/State-of-the-Art Review; Instructional Material; Issue Overview; Literature Review; Program Description (Model); Report (Grant Sponsored); Report (Study/Research); Report (Technical Assistance); Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Document; Document (Online)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Based on a literature review, this paper discusses the definitions of risk/needs assessments for youth, their theoretical foundation, their administration, risk levels derived from assessments, evaluation findings for their effectiveness, and their limitations.
Abstract: Risk/needs assessments are tools intended to assist juvenile justice practitioners in assessing, classifying (risk level for recidivism), and treating juvenile offenders. Risk/needs assessments are evaluated with methods different from those used to examine the effectiveness of programs or interventions. The validity and reliability of the assessment are important for ensuring that the estimated levels of risk and treatment needs of youth are accurate and appropriate. Interrater-reliability testing ensures that different practitioners who use a particular risk/assessment instrument will reach the same conclusions about a youth’s risk level when assessing the same case information. Instrument validity is the extent to which a particular risk/needs assessment instrument is effective in measuring what it claims to measure. A study conducted by the National Council on Crime & Delinquency evaluated commonly used risk assessment instruments in terms of their predictive validity, reliability, equity, and cost (Baird et al., 2013). Some assessment instruments tested were accurate in categorizing juvenile offenders as low, moderate, or high risk; whereas, others did not distinguish among the risk categories. The report concluded that “limiting factors on a risk assessment to those with a strong, significant relationship to outcomes will result in a more accurate risk classification,” and that instruments using a straightforward actuarial approach generally do better than those with more complicated approaches. The current literature review advises that there are still limitations to the use of risk/needs assessment instruments, since there is no one-size fits-all tools available. The particular population of juvenile offenders assessed should be considered when selecting the tool to use. 20 references
Main Term(s): Assessment (juvenile)
Index Term(s): Instrument validation; Juvenile Delinquent needs assessment methods; Juvenile offender classification; Juvenile recidivism prediction; Juvenile Risk Factors; OJJDP grant-related documents; OJJDP Resources; Screening Instruments; Testing and measurement; Treatment offender matching
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