A risk/need assessment tool assists practitioners to collect and combine information about the risks of a young person’s exposure to recidivism. It also identifies other factors that can reduce the probability of youth repeating the same mistake if treated and changed. The tool is designed to guide and give an informed decision concerning the estimated risk of recidivating.
A risk assessment tool represents a psychometric test. Recruiters use the test for the following reasons:
- It is intentional and personal, allowing those involved to compare abilities without unconscious bias;
- It helps to make the process of recruitment more efficient and to reduce substantial human resource costs;
- It has been proven to be a reliable indicator for future job performance.
The qualifications required to use an assessment tool vary because there is little room for both practitioners and professionals to use discretion when calculating risk using the actual approach. Practitioners consider using risk factors related to reoffending that are unique to the juvenile being assessed (Choetkiertikul & Sunetnanta, 2012). In addition, the practitioner determines the needed risk factors to demand how these qualifications should be measured and categorized at the level of risks.
The concept, in this case, targets the young generation concerning outcomes of breaking the law. Strengths and weaknesses associated with a risk/assessment tool are listed in the literature review. One of the limitations is the lack of bias measurement (Choetkiertikul & Sunetnanta, 2012). This results in different predictions of reoffending depending on the youth’s factors. Another limitation is the use of risk/need assessments that can contribute to racial inequalities.
Even though the assessment instrument seems to have some validity, it is imperative to note that there is no perfect assessment tool available. Practitioners and policymakers should consider some core aspects when selecting a suitable risk assessment tool.
- Choetkiertikul, M., & Sunetnanta, T. (2012). A risk assessment tool using a CMMI quantitative approach. International Journal of Engineering and Technology, 4(4), 352-353. doi: 10.7763/ijet.2012.v4.381