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Criminal Justice System Risk Assessment Models

1. Which term is used to describe needs that correlate modestly with recidivism and imply causation?

A. Risk classification

B. Risk prediction

C. Effect size

D. Criminogenic


2. Today, many risk instruments contain socioeconomic factors and crude measures of an individual’s psychological condition, the use of which may be discriminatory and unconstitutional.

A. True

B. False


3. The review of efforts to promote the generation-3 and generation-4 instruments uncovered:

A. Consistent labeling

B. An account for all components of models

C. Flawed logic behind cited evidence

D. Enhanced predictive power proven by evidence


4. Generation-3 instruments address “responsivity,” meaning that the system provides information on individual capacities and learning style, identifying programs and strategies that are likely to produce success in the community.

A. True

B. False


5. The best results came from a generation-4 assessment.

A. True

B. False


6. The Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission issued a report stating that while the YASI is often cited as highly valid and reliable, it was not possible to substantiate such claims and no peer-reviewed articles could be located in which the properties of the model were assessed.

A. True

B. False


7. Research comparing results from simple actuarial instruments, those likely to be defined as _____ models, found that these instruments actually separated high-, moderate-, and low-risk offenders more accurately than other risk assessment systems.

A. Generation-1

B. Generation-2

C. Generation-3

D. Generation-4


8. Most of the studies on the LSI family of instruments:

A. Were based on small samples of cases, limiting their value.

B. Used correlations as the only measure of validity.

C. Presented any level of correlation, no matter how modest, as evidence of validity.

D. Most of the studies on the LSI family of instruments were based on small samples of cases, limiting their value, used correlations as the only measure of validity, and presented any level of correlation, no matter how modest, as evidence of validity.


9. Although there is nothing in the assessment model that does what the developers declare, the developers of the YLS/CMI claim that the system addresses _____, which makes it a generation-4 instrument.

A. Responsivity

B. Prediction

C. Effect size

D. Criminogenic characteristics


10. All of the following factors most often have the highest relationship to recidivism, except for:

A. Substance abuse

B. Employment issues

C. Mental health disorders

D. School / behavioral issues


11. Typical lists of criminogenic needs generally encompass all of the following categories or domains, except for:

A. Parenting / family relationships

B. Gender identity and sexual orientation

C. Leisure / recreation

D. Residential stability


12. When results using eight factors from the LSI-R and the entire 54-item scale were compared, much better discrimination was obtained when classifications were based on the 54-item scale, with the proportion of cases placed at each risk level dramatically changed.

A. True

B. False


13. Risk factors are those factors that:

A. Correlate with recidivism

B. Cause recidivism

C. Both correlate with and cause recidivism

D. Neither correlate with nor cause recidivism


14. Labeling a need as criminogenic when it has little or nothing to do with criminal behavior could lead to ineffective, and even harmful, interventions and unnecessary expense.

A. True

B. False


15. Some acts of horrific violence committed by young people who felt bullied or simply dismissed by peers and authority figures have been linked to _____ issues.

A. Self-esteem

B. Parenting / family

C. Substance abuse

D. Mental health


16. Needs should be assessed separately for case planning and service-delivery purposes, as combining the two in a single scale conflates the roles of group and individual data.

A. True

B. False


17. Which of the following instruments contains factors with little or no relationship to recidivism?

A. The YLS/CMI

B. The PACT

C. The COMPAS-Youth

D. The YLS/CMI, PACT, COMPAS-Youth, and YASI all contain factors with little or no relationship to recidivism


18. Which measure should be used to establish the validity and utility of risk assessment systems?

A. The degree of discrimination observed between recidivism rates for cases at different levels of risk.

B. The distribution of cases throughout the risk levels.

C. Both the degree of discrimination observed between recidivism rates for cases at different levels of risk and the distribution of cases throughout the risk levels should be used to establish the validity and utility of risk assessment.

D. Neither the degree of discrimination observed between recidivism rates for cases at different levels of risk nor the distribution of cases throughout the risk levels should be used to establish the validity and utility of risk assessment.


19. Structured professional judgement models:

A. Provide the degree of structure needed to ensure reliability among raters in large, diverse agencies.

B. Are too subjective to provide a high level of consistency among staff members.

C. Possess the level of validity needed to improve decision making.

D. Consist of the structure needed in justice decision making and represent a step forward in practice.


20. Most newer system are true actuarial models.

A. True

B. False


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