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Innovation Brief: Using Risk Assessment to Meet Needs and Reduce Recidivism

Published Nov 30, 2012, Gina M. Vincent, PhD, National Youth Screening & Assessment Project and Laura S. Guy, PhD, University of Massachusetts Medical School

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A growing number of juvenile justice experts are suggesting that an effective approach to reducing recidivism is to evaluate a youth’s risk of reoffending, then match services to his or her specific risk factors. With support from the Models for Change initiative, most of the county-based juvenile probation offices in Pennsylvania have adopted the Youth Level of Service/Case Management Inventory (YLS) for this purpose. The near-statewide adoption was a significant accomplishment in a state without a centralized juvenile probation system.

This brief is one in a series describing new knowledge and innovations emerging from Models for Change, a multi-state juvenile justice initiative. Models for Change is accelerating movement toward a more effective, fair, and developmentally sound juvenile justice system by creating replicable models that protect community safety, use resources wisely, and improve outcomes for youths. The briefs are intended to inform professionals in juvenile justice and related fields, and to contribute to a new national wave of juvenile justice reform.

Reform areas: Aftercare

Categories: Innovation/knowledge briefs, Screening/assessment

Tags: innovation brief, MFC

Uploaded Nov 29, 2012

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Models for Change is supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, website operated by Justice Policy Institute.