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).
This paper was written specifically for judges and court personnel to describe the benefits and costs of using risk assessment to aid disposition decisions and case planning