Chapter 5: Case Assessment, Classification, and Management
Possible Concerns

Although there are many benefits, decisionmakers also need to consider other possible consequences of an assessment, classification, and management system. For example, it may be possible for staff to rely too heavily on the quantitative components of the classification process, neglecting the case planning and case management functions that are more difficult (Klein, 1989). Similarly, Torbet (1986) cautions that using a case assessment, classification, and management system to set caseload contact standards may lead to minimum standards becoming the norm, resulting in the provision of less effective services. Another concern is that using statistical prediction methods will inevitably result in some errors in classification. Professional judgments are still a very important part of the process. Values and ethics remain vital to service provision (Gottfredson, 1987). It is also crucial to remember that part of adolescent development includes characteristics such as impulsiveness and inconsistency. Youth's needs and behavior patterns may change quickly, calling for adjustment of case plans. Prediction through case assessment instruments cannot be considered a long-term prognosis, nor should case plans be unalterable (Altschuler and Armstrong, 1994).

Chapter 5 Contents

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Jurisdictional Technical Assistance Package for Juvenile Corrections Report - December 2000