Validation. You’ve heard about it over the years. You know it’s a best practice. But can you explain it to your agency’s stakeholders? Many criminal justice practitioners, even those of us who have undergone a validation study, are still fuzzy on the details. And while many of the details can be safely left up to the researchers and scientists, as practitioners, we still need to be conversant enough on validation to answer questions from our stakeholders.
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.