What if you could save 5 minutes per individual that your agency serves? 10 minutes? 15? Even a few minutes per person could make a substantial impact on your team’s ability to manage their time and their caseload. It’s time to re-think your assessment strategy. Even the most assessment-savvy agencies are losing precious minutes on non-essential assessment questions, and saving your team that extra five or more minutes is easier than you think.
There are two critical parts of this process, either of which can make or break the accuracy of your assessment results: the assessment itself, and the way your team uses it. To ensure the accuracy of the assessment, you need to conduct validation and outcomes studies. To ensure accuracy of the human elements of risk assessment, your agency needs to adopt a continuous cycle of quality assurance, or QA.
As supervision professionals, we’re focused on the myriad things the individual needs to address to avoid recidivism, and the most immediate priority needs to be the moment of reentry. When their feet hit the pavement, then what? Do they have a place to live? Do they have something to eat? Do they have a valid ID Over the past three decades, we’ve seen hundreds of different takes on discharge/release/reentry planning, and we’ve learned that success really comes down to a few key factors.
Validation is an essential part of using risk assessments. Even if the assessment tool you’re using has been validated on other populations in other jurisdictions, you don’t know if the tool is really working for YOUR population in YOUR jurisdiction unless you validate it using local data.
Case planning: It’s an art. It’s a science. It’s a tough job. Pulling together a plan that sets the right goals on the right timeline supported by the right programming sounds as elusive as painting the perfect crooked smile on the Mona Lisa, and in a way, it is. But with skill, experience, and supportive programming, it can be done.
Scaling Justice: Lessons in Data Quality GalleryBlog, Case Management for Attorneys, Case Management for Courts, Case Management for Supervision, Classification Management, Custody Management, Podcast, Pretrial, Problem-Solving Courts, Resources, Risk Need Assessments
Data is central to the criminal justice decisions that affect lives, families, and communities every day. It drives more equitable outcomes, helps objectivity reign, and supports healthy communities. But how do we know the data is right? How do we know we can rely on it? Learn what data quality means for criminal justice practitioners and what each of us can do to make it better.
You’ve implemented a risk and needs assessment. Your team is using the data to inform decision-making. Now what? To maintain the health of your agency’s evidence-based practice and find out how effective your efforts are at reducing recidivism, your assessments require assessments of their own. As soon as you have enough data, your agency needs to launch a Validation Study, and then a few years after that, an Outcomes Study.
Risk and needs assessments have come under a lot of scrutiny in the justice sector, and it’s not uncommon for our clients to get questions from their stakeholders about their use of assessments in evidence-based practice. We’ve compiled a list of the top five questions we hear and straightforward answers to help you educate others and demonstrate why assessments are helping you advance justice in your community.
When used the right way, data is powerful. The data collected on your web browsing habits (probably) aren’t going to change the world, but the data you collect and use as a supervision professional can mean the difference between helping—or inadvertently harming—your community. THAT’s powerful.
Pretrial decisions can have heavy consequences. Individuals involved in the pretrial phase of the justice process are considered still-innocent of any crime, so the decisions that are made must be weighed carefully. Pretrial reform is a hot topic in our country today, and the use of a risk assessment during the pretrial phase is under great scrutiny.