Assessment Instruments

Assessment instruments are actuarial tools based on empirical research designed to create greater accuracy and structure in decisionmaking. Risk assessment instruments help juvenile justice agencies make better decisions about case service and custody, whereas needs assessments help develop focused case plans to address specific delinquent behavior. Identified below are three jurisdictions that have developed validated risk and needs assessment instruments designed specifically for aftercare populations. It should be noted that although these instruments may be applied to broader populations, each was developed specifically for the target population in that particular locality.

  • Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections (Risk and Needs).
  • Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice (Risk).
  • Indiana Department of Corrections—Juvenile Division (Risk).

For additional information on the instruments developed by these jurisdictions, contact:

Dennis Wagner
National Council on Crime and Delinquency
426b South Yellowstone Drive, Suite 250
Madison, WI 53719
608–831–8882
608–831–6446 (fax)


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Aftercare Services Juvenile Justice Practice Series