How Alternative Screenings Boost Success

The Northpointe Suite   •   An equivant product

“But what about … ?” How many times have you looked at a supervision plan and thought something wasn’t quite right? How many people in your population have a special circumstance or need that makes their case just a little different?

Understanding details about a person is critical to successful planning and case management. If you don’t have all the information you need to make the right call, then it’s time to fill in the gaps.

Strengthen the foundation of your decision-making with two key sources of data:

  • Validated Risk/Needs Assessments
  • Targeting Alternative Screening Tools

Customize Your R/N Assessments

When you’re looking for additional insight, your risk/needs assessment is the first place to turn. Different tools handle specialized insights in different ways, but what’s important here is making sure your tool of choice works hand-in-hand with your case planning. If you’re using the Northpointe Suite, you can seamlessly integrate many of the leading assessments into your case management process.

If you’re already using COMPAS, your team and partner agencies likely have the tool set up in different ways at different decision points for a variety of reasons. Maybe you only need high-level data. Maybe time is a concern. Maybe when you set it up, you weren’t sure exactly which parts of the assessment would be most useful.

Whatever the reason, here’s what you need to know: There are a variety of different scales available on the COMPAS assessment, and you can pick and choose which ones you want to use. Scales are sets of questions that work together to measure things like recidivism risk, risk of violence, needs based on substance abuse or family issues, etc. Each scale can essentially be turned on or off like a light switch.

So, if you feel like you’re not getting all the data you need to make an informed decision, it’s possible you’re not. The first place to look is COMPAS. What other scales are available that you’re not currently using? What parts of the assessment could you “turn on” to start getting the data you need about the people you supervise?

Add Targeted Alternative Screeners

If you’re fully utilizing COMPAS or other risk/needs assessments but still feel like something is missing for those special cases, consider using a more targeted screener. Several widely-known screeners are available within the Northpointe Suite for a variety of circumstances such as sex offenders, domestic violence, veterans’ issues, OWI, opioid use, and more.

Research and experience show that special populations can pose different risks to public safety and can require different interventions because of their level and type of need. It’s critical to understand the circumstances of the people you supervise so you can provide the right level of supervision and allocate the appropriate resources and treatment, and alternative screeners can help you do that.

Alternative screeners work in concert with your risk/needs assessment to give you the full picture. When a supervision plan doesn’t feel quite right because the circumstances are just outside the spectrum of your day-to-day, look for a targeted screener that will help you get an additional layer of information to strengthen your decision-making.

Don’t Do it Alone

Next time you start to ask yourself “But what about … ?”, take a deep breath, and remember we’re here for you. It’s our job to help you strengthen the foundation of everything you do, and we’ve been doing it for decades. We can help you select the right combination of assessments and screeners, and creatively problem-solve whatever you’re facing. Want to learn more?  Let’s talk.