National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NCCD) (Oakland CA)
This study examined the validity, reliability, equity, and cost of nine juvenile justice risk assessment instruments. Though many researchers and practitioners believe that risk assessment is critical to improving decision making in the juvenile justice system, the range of options currently available makes the selection of the most appropriate instrument for each jurisdiction a difficult choice. This study was designed to provide a comprehensive examination of how several risk assessments perform in practice (p. 1). Findings are reported: according to eight risk assessment instruments; and through a comparison of results across jurisdictions and assessments by way of reliability, validity, equity, revised risk assessment instruments constructed in the study, and efficiency and cost. A discussion covers: instruments developed for general use; risk instruments developed for a specific agency; and comments from Advisory Board members and responses from the authors of this report. Risk assessment should be a simple process that can be easily understood and articulated. This study’s findings show that simple, actuarial approaches to risk assessment can produce the strongest results. Adding factors with relatively weak statistical relationships to recidivism—including dynamic factors and criminogenic needs—can result in reduced capacity to accurately identify high-, moderate-, and low-risk offenders (p. vi).
“Most assessment systems target high-risk offenders. However, standard risk and needs assessments do not necessarily identify needs that are truly criminogenic for each individual; nor do they address responsivity. This is because these systems do not inherently identify either specific strategies and programs that reflect the learning style of the offender or approaches and programs most likely to motivate each offender to change behavior. This paper describes a comprehensive approach to assessment, developed by the National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NCCD), that successfully addresses all three objectives listed above. This methodology was originally embedded in the Client Management Classification (CMC) system and Strategies for Juvenile Supervision (SJS) assessment and supervision systems. It currently is embedded in the Correctional Assessment and Intervention System (CAIS) and Juvenile Assessment and Intervention System (JAIS) … Evaluation outcomes from six separate studies have shown that this methodology significantly reduces recidivism for both probationers and parolees and reduces institutional infractions when used in institutional settings. Results from these studies, which were conducted by different research teams in different jurisdictions across a 25-year timeframe, are summarized in this paper.” Sections included in this report are: introduction; what separates CAIS and JAIS from other assessment models; how CMC and SJS were developed; evaluations of CMC; the Texas Study, 1987; the Wisconsin Study, 1986; Council of State Governments, 2011; the emergence of CAIS and JAIS; supervision strategies; enhancing responsivity through case planning; and conclusion.
"This webinar focuses on the legal liability of agencies and staff when engaging in cross gender supervision and searches of people in custody." Topics discussed include: important factors for cross gender searches and supervision; the legal framework—Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) standards and DOJ guidance, Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act, Prison Litigation Reform Act, Violence Against Women Act amendments, PREA exhaustion of administration remedies, Federal Torts Claims Act, U.S. Constitution claims, state claims, and international legal claims; forms of liability—municipal, official, individual, personal and qualified immunity; case law digest—issues raised by inmates, residents, or detainees—First Amendment, Fourth Amendment , Fourth regarding privacy, visual body cavity searches, pat downs (searches), and the Eighth Amendment; the impact of cross gender supervision and searches on youthful inmates; case law regarding employment—Title VII; women in corrections; men in corrections; gender non-conforming staff in corrections; and conclusions regarding the current state of the law.
“This NCCD Focus highlights the vulnerabilities and consequences of gang involvement for girls, the service needs of girls in gangs and girls at risk of joining gangs, as well as the importance of addressing these service needs as a critical gang violence-prevention strategy. It also provides examples of how various programs are currently addressing the gender-specific service needs of girls involved in gangs” (p. 1). Sections of this publication include: introduction; risk factors and costs for girls; the view from service providers—the service needs of girls at risk of gang involvement (life skill classes, mentorship, and peer support), the service needs of girls in gangs (sexual abuse and gang desistance), the service needs of girls in juvenile halls (legal education services, recidivism prevention, and creative therapeutic services); examples of programming and services for girls—Girls & Gangs, Kevin Grant Consulting, Barrios Unidos, Fathers & Families of San Joaquin, and Operation Peacekeeper; and conclusion.
The results from a study of eight risk assessments used for determining which justice-involved youth are low-, moderate-, or high-risk for future delinquency are reviewed. Sections comprising this summary are: introduction; comparison of juvenile justice risk assessment instruments by agency, risk assessment model, and effectiveness; inter-rate reliability testing; validity and equity testing; and implications for practice. Risk assessment should be a simple process that is easily understood and articulated. This study’s findings show that simple, straightforward, actuarial approaches to risk assessment can produce the strongest results (p. 5).
This report is necessary reading for anyone working with or concerned about girls who are incarcerated in adult correctional facilities. "Adult jails and prisons are not designed for the confinement of youth, and as a result most are not equipped to meet the inherent and specific needs of adolescents. Studies show that youth in adult confinement do not receive age-appropriate educational, medical, or rehabilitative services. They are subject to conditions that are developmentally inappropriate and physically and emotionally unsafe; these conditions run counter to rehabilitative goals. In addition, a growing body of research shows that youth confined in adult facilities are exposed to seasoned offenders and, as compared to youth who are placed in juvenile facilities, are more likely to recidivate with more severe crimes upon release … This bulletin focuses on the population of girls under age 18 who are confined to adult facilities in the United States. It provides a summary of current research, incorporates the voices of practitioners, and offers recommendations for improving conditions and outcomes for girls who are sentenced to adult facilities" (p. 1-2). Sections of this publication cover: mechanisms that move girls into adult courts; profile of justice-involved girls; challenges to providing adequate programming and services; challenges to keeping girls safe; staffing challenges; and concluding remarks and six recommendations. An appendix provides results from a National Institute of Corrections /National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NIC/NCCD) Survey of Association of State Correctional Administrators (ASCA) regarding issues and challenges that adult facilities deal with related to youth under the age of 18, particularly girls.
"In an effort to adopt policies and/or establish community relationships so that LGBTQ [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning] youth and their families have access to supportive resources, some jurisdictions convened LGBTQ task forces or workgroups. The purpose of this practice guide is to provide instruction regarding how to establish a task force along with guidance on handling possible challenges to this work. This guide is directed toward the individual or group of individuals within a jurisdiction who are charged with convening and facilitating such a task force" (p. 1). Sections of this guide include: introduction; the role of the task force; intersecting identities; recruitment and retention; facilitating the task force; drafting a comprehensive policy; challenges within and outside of the task force; policy implementation; and conclusion. "Convening an LGBTQ task force in the juvenile justice system is, by no means, an easy endeavor. Collaborations are not perfect, but the ability of government systems, CBOs [community-based organizations], and community members to come together to create reform is worthwhile. The potential benefits for youth and families are numerous and oftentimes immeasurable" (p. 16).