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Using SDM® at Each Decision Point

March 15, 2017
 National Council on Crime and Delinquency   

This is the second in a new series of handouts that communicate key aspects of the Structured Decision Making® (SDM) model. This handout lists each SDM assessment along with the critical, corresponding question that assessment helps to answer. Please feel free to share the handout with others interested in the SDM model.

Donor Spotlight: Ira A. Lipman

March 9, 2017
 National Council on Crime and Delinquency   

NCCD Board of Directors Chair Emeritus Ira A. Lipman has championed and promoted social justice throughout his private and professional life. As part of that commitment, Mr. Lipman has been one of NCCD’s most steadfast supporters. He joined the NCCD Board of Directors in 1975, became Chair Emeritus in 1996, and continues to hold the title of Honorary Chair. As he says, “I look at NCCD as an organization focused on trying to be America’s progressive conscience. It is critical for NCCD to succeed.”

Race, Equity, and Ethics: Questions on Child Welfare and Predictive Analytics

March 7, 2017
 Jesse Russell 

In this webinar, Dr. Jesse Russell of NCCD discusses the proven structural factors that bring families to the attention of child welfare agencies and how these factors should be considered when implementing predictive modeling tools. The webinar also looks at how predictive analytics and machine learning can support systems’ efforts to increase equity and use their resources for positive impact.

Summary and Recommendations

February 28, 2017
 Chris  Baird 

In this final brief, Chris Baird summarizes the major problems identified throughout the series regarding risk assessment models, then goes on to suggest four steps toward remedying those problems. 

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.