Accuracy of Risk Assessment in Corrections Population Management: Where’s the Value Added?

In the book Handbook on Risk and Need Assessment: Theory and Practice, Drs. James Hess and Susan Turner’s chapter compares the predictive power of two instruments and three methods to test improvements in predictions for Felony and Violent Felony recidivism for a release cohort of nearly 100,000 California offenders.  They also hypothecized on some common limitations (with the domains captured) in the accuracy of the current recidivism risk assessments.

More information on the book can be found here: Handbook on Risk and Need Assessment – Theory and Practice

Predicting Risk: Who Knew It Was Such a Risky Business?

In the book Envisioning Criminology, Edited by Michael D. Maltz and Stephen K. Rice, Dr. Susan Turner’s chapter describes the inside story of her work in developing and testing a risk assessment instrument in California corrections.

If one glanced at the working paper on the Center for Evidence-Based Corrections website entitled “Development of the California Static Risk Assessment, CSRA,” the most likely reaction a reader might have is a yawn.  He or she might think the project was pretty dry and uneventful.  Not so.  What began as a fast turnaround project, done in collaboration with our client, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, morphed into a saga that would try the patience of any researcher.

More information about the book is at: Envisioning Criminology

 

Development of the California Static Risk Assessment (CSRA): Recidivism Risk Prediction in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

Adobe PDFDevelopment of the California Static Risk Assessment (CSRA): Recidivism Risk Prediction in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

Susan Turner, Ph.D., James Hess, Ph.D., Charlotte Bradstreet, Steven Chapman, Ph.D., and Amy Murphy, M.P.P.
Working Paper, September 2013

Developing the California Validated Risk Assessment Tool

Principal Investigator: Susan Turner, Ph.D., University of California, Irvine

This project has developed the California Static Risk Assessment (CSRA) – a risk prediction tool which estimates individual parolee risk to re-offend using existing data collected by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), and automated offender “rap sheets” provided to CDCR by the California Department of Justice. The tool will be used by CDCR in a parole violation matrix to guide supervision and treatment decisions, or in other structured decision-making tools for parolees.

CDCR provided UCI with a database of approximately 103,000 parolees who were released onto parole in FY 2002/2003. This data contains arrest and disposition information for parolee arrests (prior to and subsequent to release in FY 2002-2003), demographic information, and other risk factors collected by CDCR for each parolee, and examines recidivism over a three year follow-up period.

UCI, in developing the study, replicated a risk assessment tool developed by Washington State using static factors related to recidivism.

Development of the California Static Risk Assessment Instrument (CSRA)

Susan Turner, Ph.D., James Hess, Ph.D., and Jesse Jannetta, M.P.P.
November 2009

Adobe PDF Development of the California Static Risk Assessment Instrument (CSRA)