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Evaluating the Predictive Validity of Risk/Need Assessments: Recommendations for Correctional Agencies and Criminal Justice Researchers

These presentation slides should be read before anyone begins to investigate which risk/needs instrument to use in their agency or organization. Topics covered include: prevalence of structured risk/need instruments; evaluating risk/need instruments; issues in predictive validity meta-analyses; apples and oranges-fundamentally dissimilar instruments; how instrument characteristics impact predictive validity; 12 other critical distinctions among risk/need instruments; black-and-white versus shades of gray-overreliance on binary decision making; irrelevance of binary models in criminal justice settings; burden of proof-statistical support for differences among instruments; Singh et al. (2011) comparison of nine risk/need instruments--an example of margins of error, graphical representations of predictive validity, and re-analysis; and recommendations-how to compare, select, and evaluate risk/need instruments.