Evidence-Based Sentencing

1. Assess: Conduct validated risk, needs, and responsivity assessments of the defendant

What does this involve?

An agency (e.g., the probation department) will typically assign a trained officer to conduct a set of validated assessments of the defendant. The set of assessments should include (a) an actuarial assessment of general recidivism risk, and other specific risks (e.g., violence or sexual offending) as appropriate; (b) a structured assessment of the individual’s criminogenic needs; and (c) additional assessments to identify the array of specific individual responsivity factors that may pose barriers to the effective treatment of the defendant. All assessment instruments should be properly validated for use with the jurisdiction’s target population of offenders.

In addition to the Key NCSC Resources, see: