Webinar alert: Risk-Need-Responsivity: Managing Risk and Mental Health for Juvenile Justice-Involved Youth

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Research indicates that the old adage of "doing the time for the crime" does not have an appreciable impact on re-offending. This is particularly the case for young offenders; a group for which deeper penetration into the juvenile justice system can in fact make them worse. Justice agencies will have more success if they base their intervention decisions on some essential characteristics of the offender; namely, the level of risk for re-offending and specific criminogenic needs (risk factors that can change over time). This approach is known as Risk-Needs-Responsivity (RNR). The first step in implementing RNR principles is having a method for valid identification of risk levels and criminogenic risk factors and understanding where mental health fits in. Risk assessment, if implemented properly, can guide dispositions and case management decisions in a manner that conserves resources, while increasing effectiveness and preserving public safety.

This presentation will begin with an overview of the characteristics of risk assessment instruments and RNR principles. The presentation also will review results from a multi-site quasi-experimental study of the impact of implementation of risk assessment in six juvenile probation offices on case management decisions and re-offending.

About the presenter:
vincentGina Vincent, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor and Co-Director of the Law & Psychiatry Program in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA. She also is President of the National Youth Screening and Assessment Partners (NYSAP), a MacArthur Foundation Models for Change technical assistance center for assisting juvenile justice agencies with the selection and implementation of mental health and risk assessments. Dr. Vincent has a young investigator's award from NIDA to conduct neuroimaging on youth with substance abuse problems. She also has received funding from NIMH and the MacArthur Foundation for studies relevant to risk for reoffending, mental health problems, and substance abuse among youth involved in the juvenile justice system. She has published, lectured, and presented research at over 100 international and national conferences and juvenile justice facilities in the areas of juvenile callous-unemotional traits, risk/needs assessment, adolescent substance abuse, and mental health symptoms in juvenile justice. She is author of the recent publication Risk Assessment in Juvenile Probation: A Guidebook for Implementation.

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