The implementation of new risk/needs assessment systems for Indiana’s juvenile and criminal justice systems marked an important milestone during 2010-2011. These tools are designed to provide Indiana’s courts with information about an offender’s potential risks and needs, allowing trial courts to provide appropriate sentences, supervision and treatment services. The risk assessment tools enhance efforts to rehabilitate offenders, reduce recidivism, and increase public safety. Many stakeholders were involved in developing these tools for use in Indiana.
In Indiana, as well as nationally, there has been a growing acceptance and use of evidence-based practices in sentencing adult and juvenile offenders. The foundation for implementing these practices requires the use of validated, actuarial risk assessment instruments. The term evidence-based practices refers to the use of empirical data derived through scientific research from juvenile and criminal justice systems which identify factors about an offender that provide an empirical assessment of the offender’s likelihood to reoffend and techniques and programs that have been proven effective in reducing such risks. Risk assessment instruments that focus on both risk and need factors can assist in creating proper supervision plans and appropriate service referrals by the supervising agency, including probation, parole, community corrections, Court Alcohol & Drug programs, and the Indiana Department of Correction.
Johnson County Government Home Page: www.co.johnson.in.us