Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $910,045)
This program furthers the Department's mission by enhancing what is understood about the impact of risk assessment tools and risk assessment implementation on recidivism/reoffending.
OJJDP is supporting this research to investigate comprehensive approaches to risk assessment (i.e., use by multiple agencies involved in juvenile justice decisions) and that is likely to inform juvenile justice reform and improvement efforts.
The University of Cincinnati's study will describe and assess the variation in risk/needs assessment implementation practices within and across three states that use the Ohio Youth Assessment System (OYAS) to study system-level outcomes and individual case outcomes related to recidivism and other developmentally-relevant outcomes (e.g., school achievement).
Four central research objectives will be achieved through a multi-method study of the implementation of risk/needs assessment, decision making, and system-level and youth outcomes. Four samples will be selected in a multi-stage fashion. These include intensive policy/practice review for six sites within each state; approximately 150 interviews with personnel in those sites; statewide surveys of OYAS administrators and users; record extraction for approximately 6,000 assessed cases; and intensive follow-up with a smaller subsample of 300 youth. Key measures include: implementation facilitators/barriers, system-level decisions, youth risk/needs, youth recidivism (record and self-report), and youth developmental outcomes. Sample appropriate descriptive, multivariate, and longitudinal data analyses will be undertaken to answer questions related to the key research objectives. Qualitative data analysis will be used to analyze interview and policy review data.