Orange County Risk Assessment Validation

Executive Summary

The Orange County California Probation Department (OCPD) contracted with the Council of State Governments Justice Center (Justice Center) to validate the predictive accuracy of the OCPD risk assessment instrument. The risk assessment instrument is designed to differentiate the probability of probationers committing subsequent law violations after placement on probation. Based on risk of reoffending, supervision resources are allocated to provide the most intense supervision to High risk probationers. In addition to the validation study, the Department requested the development of a brief risk screening tool to quickly identify Low risk offenders not requiring a full risk assessment procedure. Projected increases in workload associated with releases from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and efficient triage of cases for supervision resources necessitated the change.

The OCPD Administrative Research Manager and IT staff developed a file for the Justice Center to conduct the research. The file consisted of risk assessments completed on probationers placed on supervision in 2007 and identified subsequent law violations for this sample that occurred in the three years after placement on probation. The sample included 4,875 offenders placed on probation in 2007. The figure on the right details the methodology used for this research.

Download the: