Home News Center Doing it Right: Risk Assessment in Juvenile Justice - an NJJN Webinar

Doing it Right: Risk Assessment in Juvenile Justice - an NJJN Webinar

April 25, 2013
Benjamin Chambers

Recorded: April 25, 2013


When your juvenile justice system puts youth on probation, does it assess them for risk? If so, do staff know how to use these assessments effectively? Or do the assessments just sit in a file, waiting to be dusted off?   

Whether your agency or jurisdiction is trying to choose the right risk assessment tool, or it already has one in place, you'll find this webinar from the National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN) helpful. Dr. Gina M. Vincent, leading author of Risk Assessment in Juvenile Justice: A Guidebook for Implementation, published in 2012 by Models for Change, gives an overview of the guide and how your jurisdiction can use it to do a better job of identifying youth needs and collecting hard clinical data to aid in resource planning.

The guide covers everything from the basic concepts of risk assessment and how to select an evidence-based assessment tool, to staff training and effective use of the assessment tool in court decision-making and case management practices.

Some topics the webinar will touch on:

  • What do we mean by "risk"?
  • What can risk assessments accomplish? What can't they accomplish?
  • Is it necessary to separate risk assessments from needs assessments?
  • What do we know about best practices for using risk assessments for pre-trial detention or community re-entry, instead of probation?
  • What other policies and procedures need to be in place for successful risk assessment implementation in a system, especially probation?
  • How does a jurisdiction engage stakeholders in the process?

WHO SHOULD WATCH THIS WEBINAR:  judges, district attorneys, and public defenders, as well as probation chiefs, agency administrators, and reform advocates interested in promoting evidence-based practices.
juvenile-risk-assessment_Dr.-Gina-VincentDr. Gina Vincent, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor and Director of Translational Law & Psychiatry Research in the Center for Mental Health Services Research in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA. She is also the Co-Director of the National Youth Screening & Assessment Project (NYSAP), one of the national technical assistance centers for the MacArthur Foundation's Models for Change Initiative – a national juvenile justice reform effort. Dr. Vincent has a young investigator's award from NIDA and has received funding from NIMH and the MacArthur Foundation for studies relevant to risk for reoffending, mental health problems, and substance abuse among youth involved in the juvenile justice system.
>> Watch the recorded webinar now.

>> View Dr. Vincent's slides (PPT show).

>> Get the NJJN policy update

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