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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 162061 Find in a Library
Title: Offender Classification: Two Decades of Progress
Journal: Criminal Justice and Behavior  Volume:23  Issue:1  Dated:(March 1996)  Pages:121-143
Author(s): C B Clements
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 23
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article reviews the literature of the past 20 years on offender classification, with particular attention paid to early developments representing a convergence of professional, legal, and political demands and recent progress in such areas as risk assessment, correctional supervision, offender classification based on psychological characteristics, and needs assessment.
Abstract: The concept of offender classification is quite broad and evolving, and the literature reveals promising methodological developments in the directions of improved prediction, responsive treatment assignment, effective institutional and community-based supervision, and better long-range planning. The legal system and developing professional standards in the field of corrections have energized the development of offender classification systems. Recent developments in offender classification have also been driven by risk assessment techniques, treatment planning strategies, and needs assessment protocols, with the goals being to improve correctional resource management and to develop more objective offender classification approaches. Risk assessment has focused primarily on release decisions in the parole context, and this focus parallels the growing preoccupation with dangerousness and clinical/mental health release decisions in terms of both methodology and legal implications. A major priority of correctional administrators is to establish a custodial or security profile for offenders on which to base assignments to different institutional types or to assign offenders to community alternatives. In this context, the rationale for both risk assessment and needs assessment is the identification of salient offender factors that warrant a particular type or level of intervention. Studies that attempt to integrate ideas across risk assessment, needs assessment, personality profiling factors, multiple purposes of offender classification, and differential treatment issues are noted. An offender classification agenda for the next decade is proposed. 73 references
Main Term(s): Corrections management
Index Term(s): Corrections effectiveness; Courts; Criminology; Dangerousness; Needs assessment; Offender classification; Offender profiles; Personality assessment; Psychological evaluation
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