Category: Criminal Justice / Forensics

Symposium

Prospective Risk Evaluation for Delinquency in Connecticut: Risk Assessment Tool for Juvenile Probation Officers

Sunday, November 19
10:15 AM - 11:45 AM
Location: Sapphire Ballroom I & J, Level 4, Sapphire Level

Keywords: Criminal Justice | Assessment | Adolescents
Presentation Type: Symposium

The juvenile justice system is rapidly shifting from older punitive control-oriented approaches to ones designed to promote public safety, decrease criminality, and enhance youth potential. Agencies are adopting modern risk assessment tools to improve judgements about risk potential and to guide intervention planning. The development of the PrediCT was guided by the Central Eight risk factors for criminality (Andrews & Bonta, 2010) and a review of existing risk instruments. Work groups of juvenile probation officers (JPOs) wrote items/interview guidelines to assess the following areas: substance use, school connection, antisocial peers, conduct disorder, family distress, mental health, and criminal history. JPOs piloted these items on high and low-risk cases, refining them over a 4-year period; the PrediCT is now in its 6th version. Study 1: The resulting scale was administered to 500 adolescents on probation. Exploratory factor analysis with an oblique rotation yielded 44 items loading >.30 on eleven factors, with a higher order factor analysis revealing five cluster scores. The first cluster, Criminal History, consisted of two factors: prior court involvement and chronic non-compliance with custody/supervision.  Substance Use emerged as a single factor. Antisociality comprised four factors: impulsive and oppositional behavior, antisocial peers, callousness, and anger/aggression.  Personal/Family Turmoil comprised of two factors: the presence of mental health problems and significant family distress. Prosocial Detachment included three factors: insufficient caregiver influence, academic disengagement, and serious social instability. Alphas reflected good reliability (a .70 to .89), except for family distress and social instability. Study 2: A preliminary recidivism analysis showed that 46% of the clients were rearrested within the 6-month period following their PrediCT assessment.  The subscales with the highest correlation to re-arrest were Prior Justice Involvement (0.29), History of Non-compliance with Supervision (0.27), Anger/Aggression (0.22), Antisocial Peers (0.19), and Substance Use (0.19). A complete analysis of the recidivism data will be presented.

Raymond Chip Tafrate

Professor and Clinical Psychologist
Central Connecticut State University

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