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:
- Flores, A., Lowenkamp, C., & Bechtel, K. (2016): False Positives, False Negatives, and False Analysis: A Rejoinder to “Machine Bias: There’s Software Used Across the Country to Predict Future Criminals. And it’s Biased Against Blacks”
- Skeem, J., & Lowenkamp, C. (2016): Risk, Race, & Recidivism: Predictive Bias and Disparate Impact
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (2016): Screening & Assessment Of Co-Occurring Disorders in the Justice System
- Desmarais, S., & Singh, J. (2013): Risk Assessment Instruments Validated and Implemented in Correctional Settings in the United States
- Pew Public Safety Performance Project (2011). Risk/Needs Assessment 101: Science Reveals New Tools to Manage Offenders
- Van Voorhis, P., Salisbury, E., Wright, E., & Bauman, A. (2008): Achieving Accurate Pictures of Risk and Identifying Gender Responsive Needs: Two New Assessments for Women Offenders
- National Institute of Corrections (2004): Topics in Community Corrections: Assessment Issues for Managers