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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 229626 
Title: Preventing and Reducing Risk (From Youth Justice Handbook: Theory, Policy and Practice, P 90-100, 2010, Wayne Taylor, Rod Earle, and Richard Hester, eds. - See NCJ-229620)
Author(s): Stephen Case
Date Published: 2010
Page Count: 11
Sponsoring Agency: Willan Publishing
Portland, OR 97213-3644
Sale Source: Willan Publishing
c/o ISBS, 5804 N.E. Hassalo Street
Portland, OR 97213-3644
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Book Chapter
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This chapter describes and critically analyses the impact of the risk-based features of youth justice policy in Great Britain, which prioritizes the prevention of youths' offending by measuring risk factors and targeting their reduction through risk-focused early intervention.
Abstract: Known as the risk-factor prevention paradigm (RFPP), this policy approach appealed to British policymakers and practitioners involved with youth offending teams (YOTs). The RFPP led to the development of a risk-assessment instrument for use in the youth justice system of England and Wales. In April 2000, the "Asset" risk assessment instrument began to be used as the core profile form to be completed by YOT practitioners following interviews with a youth ages 10-17 entering the youth justice system. Since its inception, however, Asset has been the subject of intense debate between proponents and critics regarding its content, methodology, and practicality, with critics apparently gaining the upper hand. Criticisms relate to the narrowness and accuracy of the risk factors, the marginalization of youths' perspectives, the rigid and impersonal management of targets for intervention, the individualization of offending, and flaws in the accuracy and validity of Asset's predictions. The author of this chapter argues for policymakers and practitioners to consider a radical reorientation of risk assessment to encompass a contextualized approach that emphasizes individual, localized, and intra-offending differences in risk profile, along with consideration of the independent impact of sociostructural risk factors on offending. The author also argues for more intensive consultation with youth in the youth justice system from the perspective of a needs and rights-based assessment that goes beyond assessment of risk to assessment of needs and strengths. 3 notes and 35 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile justice policies
Index Term(s): Foreign juvenile justice systems; Instrument validation; Juvenile delinquency factors; Juvenile delinquency prediction; Juvenile delinquency prevention; Juvenile recidivism prediction; Treatment offender matching
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