bonta - CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND BEHAVIOR Bonta / OFFENDER RISK...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND BEHAVIOR Bonta / OF ENDER ISK AS ES MENT OFFENDER RISK ASSESSMENT Guidelines for Selection and Use JAMES BONTA Solicitor General Canada During the past 20 years, there have been significant developments in the area of offender assessment. As a result, this knowledge has placed the field in a position to construct guide- lines as to what should characterize useful and effective offender assessment instruments. The author’s suggestions as to what constitutes good assessment ranges from the noncontroversial (e.g., actuarial instruments) to the more contentious (e.g., lessening one’s reliance on static risk scales). Whether the reader agrees with the views expressed, it is hoped that the force of the empirical arguments will at least provoke some careful consideration rather than summarily dismissing them. F or those who have to deal with offenders, either directly or indi- rectly, conducting assessments is simply part of their regular work routine. Any intervention with an offender requires an assessment of how the characteristics of the offender and the situation are related to a relevant outcome. Within a correctional context, there are many out- comes of interest. A correctional officer, for example, may need to judge whether a depressed inmate is suicidal. Parole board members consider the likelihood of an inmate adjusting to life in the commu- nity. A therapist must assess an offender’s progress in treatment. The list can go on, but these examples are sufficient to demonstrate that offender assessments are not only common activities but also that the 355 AUTHOR’S NOTE: The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not nec- essarily represent the views of the Ministry of the Solicitor General of Canada. Corre- spondence concerning this article should be addressed to James Bonta, Corrections Research, Solicitor General Canada, 340 Laurier Ave. W., Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1A 0P8; e-mail: Bontaj@sgc.gc.ca. CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND BEHAVIOR, Vol. 29 No. 4, August 2002 355-379 © 2002 American Association for Correctional Psychology
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
results from these evaluations are important to correctional staff, offenders, and the community. In this article, I summarize what we know about offender risk assessment and suggest to practitioners some guidelines for the selec- tion and use of risk instruments. Given that the reduction of criminal behavior is one of the major goals of most correctional systems, my focus is on the assessment of risk for recidivism. The article is not intended to provide a critical review of the many psychological tests and offender classification instruments used in the field. Granted, we can use such a review, and many of the articles in this issue provide evaluations of some offender assessment instruments. The research literature is sufficiently robust to offer general suggestions about what should constitute good correctional assessment. Thus, this article is outlinedasasetofguidelinesalongwithasupportingrationale.Some,
Background image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Page1 / 25

bonta - CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND BEHAVIOR Bonta / OFFENDER RISK...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 3. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online