skip navigation

Add your conference to our Justice Events calendar


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 Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the NCJRS Abstracts Database. 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: NCJ 209158     Find in a Library
  Title: Mathematics of Risk Classification: Changing Data into Valid Instruments for Juvenile Courts
  Document URL: HTML PDF 
  Author(s): Don M. Gottfredson ; Howard N. Synyder
  Corporate Author: National Ctr for Juvenile Justice
Research Division
United States of America
  Date Published: 07/2005
  Page Count: 44
  Annotation: This report presents the strengths and weaknesses of various prediction methods used for the risk-screening of juvenile offenders by juvenile courts.
  Abstract: Juvenile courts rely on risk assessment instruments to make sentencing decisions about juvenile offenders. The prediction methods used to develop these risk assessment instruments have different utilities and purposes. In this report, the various statistical prediction methods used in juvenile risk-assessment instruments are compared by assessing the validity of the simple classification instruments. Specifically, the report compares the validity of three different types of statistical methods that are most commonly used for selecting and combining variables to assess risk. Data include the records of 9,476 youths who were referred to the Juvenile Court in Arizona during 1990. The steps followed in the development and use of risk assessment measures are identified and the two requirements for any predictor, which are discrimination and reliability, are discussed. Methods of combining predictors, including linear additive models, clustering methods, and bootstrap methods are considered. All of the methods assessed showed a useful degree of validity when they were applied to the sample of youth; validity measures were approximately equal for all of the methods tested. Two methods are recommended for their face validity, simplicity: the Burgess-type scale and the prediction attribute analysis method. Courts are advised to choose the method that best fits their courtroom operations and the population they serve. Tables, figures, footnotes
  Main Term(s): Risk management ; Instrument validation
  Index Term(s): Statistical analysis ; Juvenile courts ; Juvenile offender classification
  Sponsoring Agency: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
US Dept of Justice
United States of America
  Sale Source: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America

Juvenile Justice Clearinghouse/NCJRS
P.O. Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
  Type: Measurement/Evaluation Device
  Country: United States of America
  Language: English
  Note: Downloaded July 27, 2005.
  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.