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Risk assessment

""There are people who can be safely managed in the community and the only reason they are not is they don't have any money whatsoever," says Washoe District Court Judge Elliott Sattler, who has administrative oversight responsibilities for the county's pretrial services."

"The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (DRC) has long supported supervision and programming practices rooted in the ever-growing body of the "what works" literature. Implementing evidence based practices begins with utilizing a valid risk and need assessment tool. In 2006, DRC contracted with the University of Cincinnati, Center for Criminal Justice Research, to develop a universal Ohio-based assessment system that would be utilized at various points in the criminal justice system. This project was recently completed and is called the Ohio Risk Assessment System (ORAS). The ORAS tools can be used at pretrial, prior to or while on community supervision, at prison intake, and in preparation for reentry just prior to release from prison."

If you are contemplating the use of another agency’s pretrial risk assessment tool without modification to your own organization’s needs you may want to read this report. The use of pretrial risk assessment and pretrial supervision are examined in this report. Since there has been little to no compatibility found between studies of risk assessment tool utilization, it is suggested that the application of an instrument from one jurisdiction to another probably will not work. The same applies to the use of pretrial supervision programs.

Overview of Research Findings on Pretrial Risk Assessment and Pretrial Supervision Cover

This brief explains how pretrial risk assessments can benefit the community by improving public safety and reducing costs. Sections cover: what a pretrial risk assessment tool is; the risk factors that are on a pretrial risk assessment; why it is important to some a person’s risk level; the effectiveness of pretrial risk assessments; how pretrial risk assessments are developed; the challenges and limitations of a pretrial risk assessment; and the things criminal justice stakeholders can do to implement pretrial risk assessments.

This article reviews a new pretrial risk assessment tool that calculates whether a defendant is at low, moderate, or high risk for failure to appear at trial or to commit another crime if released. The tool, incorporated in Alaska’s new bail statute, aids in the judicial officer’s decision regarding pretrial bail conditions.

 

The chapters of this Guide detail the purpose and nature of risk assessment, provide definitions of risk assessment concepts, review research evidence, and give step-by-step guidance about how to implement a tool (p. 8).

"The purpose of this document is to provide Drug Court staff with a concise and current overview of important issues relating to offender risk assessment and to provide a list of recommended contemporary risk instruments. Numerous risk scales are currently used in the United States … to assess static risk factors and criminogenic needs (dynamic risk factors that are related to the client’s propensity for criminal behavior), of which substance abuse is but one. Almost all of these are applied to predict risk post-adjudication" (p. 1). This publication focuses on those recommended and promising risk and needs instruments best for drug courts. Sections of this document include: risk assessment-an overview for drug courts; advantages, limits, and usage or risk assessment approaches in contemporary practice; issues for drub courts to consider in selecting risk instruments; selection criteria and overview of risk assessment instruments; best practice guidelines for integrating risk and clinical measures; summary of recommended and promising risk and need assessment instruments; summary of recommended purpose-specific risk assessment instruments; ten principles for using risk assessment; description of recommended risk instruments—Correctional Offender Management Profiling for Alternative Sanctions (COMPAS), Level of Service-Case Management Inventory (LS/CMI), Post Conviction Risk Assessment (PCRA), the Ontario Domestic Assault Risk Assessment (ODARA), and the Violence Risk Appraisal Guide-Revised (VRAG-R); promising risk instruments—Ohio Risk Assessment System (ORAS)—Pretrial Assessment Tool (PAT) and Community Supervision TOOL (CST), and the Risk and Needs Triage (RANT).

Selecting and Using Risk and Need Assessment Cover

“This publication is designed for a wide-ranging audience of criminal justice stakeholders who have questions about pretrial risk assessment and its value to the pretrial justice process” (p.3). Sections of this report are: introduction; setting the stage; critical issues related to pretrial release, detention, and risk assessment; challenges to implementing evidence-based risk assessment and threats to reliable administration; methodological challenges associated with prediction of risk; where to go next—recommendations for research and practice; and conclusion.

State of the Science of Pretrial Risk Assessment Cover

This is the first "thorough systematic scan of the U.S. to determine the extent to which these [risk assessment] tools have been adopted across the country" (p. 1). Sections of this report address" statewide uniform assessment; layered/regional assessment; locally administered assessment; and design variation in assessment tools. An excellent chart shows the use of these tools by state with information supplied according to: state; probation administration; authority—state statute, probation agency policy, state agency recommended, or local policy; risk assessment tool used; and statewide implementation.

Statewide Risk Assessment in Juvenile Probation Cover

This is the first thorough systematic scan of the U.S. to determine the extent to which these [risk assessment] tools have been adopted across the country (p. 1). Sections of this report address" statewide uniform assessment; layered/regional assessment; locally administered assessment; and design variation in assessment tools. An excellent chart shows the use of these tools by state with information supplied according to: state; probation administration; authority—state statute, probation agency policy, state agency recommended, or local policy; risk assessment tool used; and statewide implementation.

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