Needs vs. Risks: It’s a Balancing Act

Needs vs. Risks: It’s a Balancing Act

Reduce recidivism. Rehabilitate offenders. Maintain public safety. Engage the least restrictive conditions. Navigate local politics. Stay on top of correctional trends.

What do you prioritize? What happens when those priorities seem to compete? In today’s “just fix it” world, the pressures on supervision professionals are immense, and striking a balance isn’t easy.

Rather than thinking about risk management and corrective intervention as competing ideologies, it’s time to start thinking about them as different approaches that work together to enhance success. While your case plan focuses on the person holistically and considers ways to intervene for lasting impact, supervision is more about ensuring compliance with court orders and mitigating risk to public safety. For ongoing success, they must both work together to individualize your approach and support behavioral change.

Here’s what’s involved in each:

Case Plan

  • Needs Assessment – Use assessment results to address skill gaps and plan for interventions.
  • Rehabilitation – Consider what corrective interventions will be most effective for this individual’s needs.
  • Focus on Strengths – A strengths-based approach can help build confidence with early milestones and foster long-term strategies for success.
  • Timing – Plan to start when the client is most ready to maximize those early wins.

Case Supervision

  • Risk Assessment – Use assessment results to set the appropriate level of supervision for each client.
  • Monitoring – Individual risk level will also drive which risk management strategies are the best fit.
  • Control and Treatment – Opportunity-reduction strategies, conditions of supervision, community monitoring strategies, and more can be set on a person-by-person basis.
  • Public Safety – Safety is always a concern, and with thoughtful attention to the case plan and supervision strategies, the whole community can benefit.

 Supervision doesn’t have to be an either/or proposition. When we consider each individual’s needs and how the available ideologies and strategies might work in confluence to meet those needs, we not only create better individual outcomes, we also create more reasonable expectations for ourselves and our team.

 We’ve been in your shoes, and we can help. If you want to talk through your case management strategies, needs, and challenges, give us a call.