The Women’s Risk Needs Assessment (WRNA) is a dynamic, validated risk assessment tool designed for women by women under a multi-year (2002-2007) cooperative agreement with the University of Cincinnati. The WRNA has 3 separate instruments: prison intake, prison pre-release, and community (probation) assessment.
Beginning in June 2023, a WRNA Diversity Review Team (DiveRT) began convening virtually under a cooperative agreement to review the WRNA instrument, its training media, and its support materials to critically reflect on how the WRNA serves women of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.
The DiveRT sessions were facilitated by Dr. Emily Salisbury and Jessica Seawright from the University of Utah and the program was managed by Katie Reick, a correctional program specialist with the National Institute of Corrections (NIC).
The team was selected by the cooperative agreement awardee, Dr. Salisbury and individuals from the University of Utah. The team consisted of practitioners with in-depth knowledge of the WRNA and extensive experience in either administering the tool or providing training on how to use it. Members included people with lived experience, people working within the criminal justice system, and people whose work consisted of a focus on reentry.
The team’s work was split between a committee focusing on reviewing and suggesting updates to the training materials, including presentation slides and handouts, and a team focused on reviewing the instrument itself.
The work culminated with an in-person session at the University of Utah on November 13, 2023. This session consisted of the team members, University of Utah staff, and NIC staff reviewing proposed changes, focusing on what could be easily adapted and updated, and determining what items would take more research and analysis before changes could be made.
The DiveRT team consisted of Dr. Lisa Calderón; The Center for Trauma and Resilience; Dr. Donna Rixey; Shawntelle Fisher, Soulfisher Ministries; La Tonya Moore, Los Angeles County Probation; and Leticia Longoria-Navarro, The Pathfinder Network. University of Utah Staff included Dr. Salisbury, Jessica Seawright, and Kate McCauley. Katie Reick and Belinda Stewart, Correctional Program Specialists with NIC, participated in the Diversity Review Team sessions as well.