Risk assessment

Using Risk Assessment & Risk-Needs-Responsivity Principles in Juvenile Justice

There is an emerging consensus in the juvenile justice field that punitive sanctions alone do not have a significant effect on reducing juvenile reoffending (Gatti et al., 2009). In fact, research has found that with some youths, any exposure to the juvenile justice system (e.g. community service or probation) can actually increase their chances of offending again (Models for Change Research Initiative, 2011).

Using Risk Assessment to Meet Needs and Reduce Recidivism

A growing number of juvenile justice experts are suggesting that an effective approach to reducing recidivism is to evaluate a youth’s risk of reoffending, then match services to his or her specific risk factors. With support from the Models for Change initiative, most of the county-based juvenile probation offices in Pennsylvania have adopted the Youth Level of Service/Case Management Inventory (YLS) for this purpose. The near-statewide adoption was a significant accomplishment in a state without a centralized juvenile probation system.

Can Risk Assessment Improve Juvenile Justice Practices?

A growing number of juvenile justice experts are suggesting a new, potentially more effective approach to reducing recidivism: first identify a youth’s risk of re-offending; then match services to his or her specific risk factors and responsiveness to specific types of interventions. This study examined the implementation of risk/needs assessment tools in six juvenile probation offices in two states, and what effects it had on the practices of the probation officers.

Risk/Needs Assessment in Juvenile Justice: Predictive Validity of the SAVRY, Racial Differences, and Contribution of Needs Factors

This field validity study of the SAVRY used with a juvenile detention sample indicated that dynamic risk factors were crucial for predicting violent reoffending, and its predictive accuracy for violent reoffending was equivalent for White, Black, and Hispanic youth.


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