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Structured Professional Judgment Models

February 21, 2017
 Chris Baird 

Brief five of six discusses the research behind structured professional judgment (SPJ) models, a less structured approach to risk assessment favored by the justice field. In this brief, Chris Baird addresses concerns with the validity, reliability, equity, and utility of SPJ models.

Developing and Validating Risk Assessment Instruments for Justice Agencies

February 13, 2017
 Chris Baird 

This brief explores the research behind many current models, discusses methods commonly used to measure “predictive power,” and outlines what is required to measure the efficacy of various approaches to risk assessment.

Criminogenic Needs

February 6, 2017
 Chris Baird 

The third brief in this series by Chris Baird identifies flaws in the logic employed to support the use of criminogenic needs (or dynamic risk factors) in risk assessment. While assessing needs is a critical component of assessment, much of what is advocated combines the roles of group data and the actual treatment needs of the individual. This brief also discusses the appropriate role of needs assessment in case planning and service delivery.

Benefits of the SDM® Model

February 2, 2017
 National Council on Crime and Delinquency   

This handout concisely explains the benefits of the Structured Decision Making® (SDM) system for each level of an agency: leadership, managers and supervisors, workers, and families. Take a look at the handout and feel free to use it to help communicate SDM® system basics. 

A Question of Evidence, Part Two: Introduction

January 27, 2017
 Chris Baird 

In the first of his six-part series of briefs titled A Question of Evidence, Part Two, Chris Baird explains his reasons for revisiting the topic of his 2009 paper, A Question of Evidence: A Critique of Risk Assessment Models in the Justice System. According to Baird, the issues addressed in his earlier paper “remain in force today, further complicated by increased expectations emanating from new methods of analysis.

The Generations Myth

January 27, 2017
 Chris Baird 

The second piece in Chris Baird’s six-part series explores the origins of claims that each succeeding “generation” of assessment models in the justice field offers greater “predictive” capacity to its users. Baird goes on to discuss the promotional strategies that led to widespread acceptance of the “generations” terminology and associated claims.

Antelope Valley Monitoring Team Third Semi-Annual Report

December 21, 2016
 National Council on Crime and Delinquency   

This is the third semi-annual report issued by the Monitors, which covers the monitoring activities that have taken place during this reporting period and describes our observations as to the progress of Los Angeles County and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department in meeting the requirements of the Settlement Agreement for the Antelope Valley. This report is primarily focused on work undertaken between July 2016 and December 2016.

December 21, 2016
 National Council on Crime and Delinquency   

The December 2016 issue of NCCD News includes a 2016 wrap-up message from CEO Kathy Park; a video of the presentaion of the Distinguished Achievement Award to the creators of Making a Murder; a new juvenile justice project in Texas; and more. *This link opens slowly; please be patient.

Girls and Gangs: Improving Understanding and Responsiveness

December 9, 2016
 Estivaliz Castro 
 Caroline Glesmann 

A recent NCCD study examined how and why girls become gang-affiliated and how and why some girls avoid or leave gang activity. The study includes information about addressing the needs of gang-involved/formerly gang-involved girls and recommends that services recognize the girls’ individuality and provide tailored plans that build on their strengths. This PowerPoint presentation summarizes the study.

What Happens When We Lock Kids Up

December 8, 2016
 National Council on Crime and Delinquency   

Secure confinement causes all of the following: Impaired development, increased offending, and long-term barriers and costs. Learn more in this short handout.