ERIC Number: ED485849
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Jul
The Mathematics of Risk Classification: Changing Data into Valid Instruments for Juvenile Courts. NCJ 209158
Gottfredson, Don M.; Snyder, Howard N.
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
This report is meant to help juvenile courts develop practical risk-screening instruments. Courts increasingly are using some method of risk classification to assist in assignment of youth to differential service/supervision programs. A comparison of commonly used or advocated risk classification methods may provide courts with guidance in selecting a method for developing a screening instrument. This report assesses the strengths and weaknesses of several prediction methods in the context of juvenile courts' risk classification needs, based on analyses of one court's data that were submitted to the National Juvenile Court Data Archive maintained by the National Center for Juvenile Justice. Although the authors hope such advice will be useful, they recognize that giving it is problematic. What works best in one situation or with one set of data may work less well in another situation or with another set of data. The authors have sought to offer a basic description of the main statistical and practical problems associated with the methods compared and to provide a fair assessment of the advantages and disadvantages of each method. At the end, the authors provide a few recommendations that focus on practical aspects of risk classification. (Includes 17 tables of statistical information, and 19 illustrative figures.)
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Juvenile Justice Data Analysis Project
Authoring Institution: Department of Justice, Washington, DC. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.