Juvenile Justice & Assessment/Ongoing Projects

Title: Advancing Use of Risk/Needs Assessment in Juvenile Probation
10/1/2011 - 12/31/2013
Funder: U.S. Department of Justice/MacArthur
Funding: $500,000
PI: Laura Guy, Ph.D., Co-I: Thomas Grisso, Ph.D.

Description: The purpose of our Demonstration project is to assist two juvenile probation agencies to improve their decision-making about youth processing in line with Risk-Need-Responsivity principles to reduce costs and reduce the chance of further delinquency. Two state probation agencies will be selected to implement an evidence-based risk/needs assessment (RNA) tool and the MAYSI-2, a well-validated mental health screening tool used widely in juvenile justice, along with a decision-making model for case planning that integrates information about mental health variables and risk for reoffending. Investigators will guide the agencies through the implementation process using a model tested in the MacArthur Foundation’s Models for Change Initiative that includes assisting in the selection of an evidence-based RNA, developing policies, categorizing available service options, training staff, modifying existing case plans, and advancing agencies’ data management systems. Two experimental and two control sites will be selected in each state to conduct an evaluation using a quasi-experimental design to determine whether out-of-home placement and maximum levels of supervision were decreased, and whether services to high risk youth were increased, without jeopardizing public safety.


Center for Mental Health Services Research