This study examined whether and how much risk/need indicators change over time in a sample of serious adolescent offenders and whether changes in risk were related to self-reported and official record reports of offending in the year following assessment.
The study produced three primary findings. First, compared to the baseline assessment, overall risk/need scores decreased over time. Second, risk/need does not change in a uniform sequence across domains and time, since the form and rate of change differed by domain. Third, risk/need indicators were related to later offending, with more recent indicators being more powerful for predicting rearrest. Thus, findings provide empirical support for recent efforts to incorporate routine risk/need assessment into juvenile justice practices. Repeated assessments are likely to identify fluctuations in areas of risk/need that can be used to inform case management and intervention efforts, even for serious offenders. Growth curve and multilevel mixed-effects models were used to examine change through age 18 in a sample of 1,324 serious adolescent offenders participating in the Pathways to Desistance Study. (Publisher abstract modified)
Date Published: June 1, 2016