skip navigation


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 Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. 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: 201303 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Validation of the Los Angeles County Probation Department's Risk and Needs Assessment Instruments
Author(s): Susan Turner; Terry Fain
Date Published: January 2003
Page Count: 85
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Rand Corporation
Washington, DC 20037
Grant Number: 1999-IJ-CX-K008
Publication Number: DRU-2955-NIJ
Sale Source: Rand Corporation
2100 M Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: PDF
Dataset: DATASET 1
Type: Measurement/Evaluation Device
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study evaluated six different offender risk and needs assessment tools utilized by the Los Angeles Probation Department.
Abstract: As a result of the large influx of new offenders into Los Angeles county jails, many offenders, some of whom had previous been labeled “unfit for release,” have been released under supervision. However, the Probation Department has been unable to meet the supervision needs of the growing probation population. As a result of litigation and a county-wide assessment of needs, the Probation Department established a set of minimum standards. Three of the five minimum standards involved the creation of a series of risk/needs assessment instruments to be used with the probation population. The usefulness and validity of these six risk/needs instruments are evaluated in this report. The current evaluation examined the assessment instruments for instrument integrity, use of overrides, decisions, and relationship to long-term recidivism outcomes and served as a follow-up for the department’s own pilot study of their assessment instruments. Chapter 1 of the report provides background information concerning the development of the assessment instruments, and the two phases of the instrument evaluation. Chapter 2 describes the research methodology, including a description of the sample, how reliability was assessed, issues related to instrument validity and bias, and the relationship of the assessment instrument to recidivism. Chapter 3 specifically examines the assessment instruments used on Los Angeles’s juvenile population, while chapter 4 evaluates the assessment instruments for the adult population. Finally, chapter 5 offers the study conclusions, which indicate that the juvenile and adult investigation and supervision instruments adequately predict recidivism. However, some of Los Angeles’s other assessment instruments, such as the IDC instruments, lack adequate scale integrity and do not adequately predict recidivism. The conclusions contain discussions related to instrument bias for demographic factors such as race. Future research, due to be completed in 2004, specifically examines the validity of the assessment instruments used for juvenile intake and supervision. Tables, figures, references
Main Term(s): Instrument validation
Index Term(s): California; Needs assessment; NIJ grant-related documents; Probation; Recidivism prediction
Note: Dataset may be archived by the NIJ Data Resources Program at the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data. Page numbering of report is mixed between Roman numerals and numbers (pages 1-21 are labelled with Roman numerals).
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.