Improving Risk and Needs Assessment Accuracy

How do I contact you?

Email Jen Kisela at:

Risk and needs assessments are fundamental to reducing recidivism, but only when they perform as intended. It is imperative that agencies regularly evaluate their implementation of these tools and the predictive accuracy of the results, especially across race and gender groups.

How can the CSG Justice Center help?

Through our work in 28 states to analyze and improve correctional systems, we’ve identified the most common problems with risk and needs assessment implementation. Our team of experts can quickly and efficiently examine your current practices to pinpoint areas of concern and recommend solutions.

Tailored services we provide:

  • Training on the research underpinning risk and needs assessment and strategies for effective intervention
  • User training on several different assessment tools
  • Surveys of stakeholders to gauge the understanding and support for risk and needs assessment
  • Review of taped assessment interviews and feedback for improving information gathering and scoring accuracy
  • Review of policies and procedures related to risk and needs assessment to determine adherence to best practices
  • Establishment of data measures to monitor risk and needs assessment performance
  • Creation and execution of inter-rater and intra-rater reliability exercises
  • Development of quality improvement protocols that ensure skill acquisition and fostering staff proficiencies
  • Training staff to perform quality improvement activities
  • Conducting comprehensive validation studies to determine whether your tool is predicting outcomes accurately for the entire population as well as subgroups and uncovering the source of any variances
  • Presenting findings and recommendations to agency leadership and external stakeholders

How do I get started?

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Contact the CSG Justice Center to discuss your agency’s needs, including overall project goals, jurisdiction size, assessment tool being used, and efforts to improve risk and needs assessment accuracy to date.

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Based on this conversation, CSG Justice Center staff will draft a written proposal for your agency’s review.

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Once there is agreement on the project scope, contract with the CSG Justice Center and our staff will begin work.