Juvenile probation offices that implemented risk-needs assessment instruments and the risk-needresponsivity approach reduced formal supervision and recidivism; however, mental health services were used more often than risk-reduction services and had little influence on recidivism.
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).
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.
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.
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.
This study determined that juvenile probation officers can be trained to conduct a structured professional judgment risk assessment tool (SAVRY) with good to excellent reliability
This study using the SAVRY indicated that dynamic risk factors are critical to include in the risk assessment of youth, and that risk assessment maintains sound predictive validity across developmental periods.
This paper reports the results of a multi-site, quasi-experimental study of the impact of a comprehensive implementation of risk assessment in juvenile probation for dispositional planning on youth processing.
The paper provides the results of a study of juvenile probation officers from six departments regarding the benefits, barriers, and use of risk assessment in their case management following a standardized implementation of risk assessment tools.
This describes results of a study of probation officers from six departments regarding the use of structured professional judgment versus actuarial risk assessment.