The Correctional Offender Management Profiling for Alternative Sanctions (COMPAS) system is a statistically based risk and needs assessment specifically designed to assess key risk and needs factors in adult and youth correctional populations and to provide decision-support for justice professionals who must make decisions regarding the placement, supervision, and case-management of individuals in community supervision and correctional institution settings. It achieves this by providing valid measurement and succinct organization of research supported risk/need dimensions. COMPAS scores each individual based on three different types of risk (violence, recidivism, and failure to appear in court) and 19 different criminogenic needs. The software also includes case planning, outcomes measurement, and reports generation modules. The internal Research Division (staffed by five PhDs) and IT Division provide the research and technical support to norm the assessment for the local population and configure the software to local policy and procedure. The time required to administer each battery of tests varies, and can be adapted to the needs of the jurisdiction. A peer reviewed validation study of the COMPAS has been accepted by Criminal Justice and Behavior for publication in the June 2009 edition. An additional independent validation of the COMPAS in a California study by Zhang and Farabee (2007) indicated predictive accuracies comparable to other major instruments.
Developer(s): Northpointe Institute for Public Management, Inc.
The Rikers Island Discharge Enhancement (RIDE) is a discharge planning program that uses a one page questionnaire (Form 983) at the time of intake to ascertain an individual’s housing and social service needs in preparation for release from jail. The housing section includes questions about past housing situations, homelessness, and the need for housing assistance upon release. Other sections assess the need for employment, healthcare, identification, transportation, substance abuse treatment, etc. The questionnaire includes a section that jail staff can use to make service referrals.
Developer(s): New York City Discharge Planning Collaboration
The Level of Services Inventory-Revised (LSI-R) is a 54 item rating scale that measures static factors related to an individual’s risk of committing a new crime and identifies dynamic areas of risk and need that may be addressed through programming. Areas evaluated by the LSI-R include criminal history, leisure / recreation, education / employment, associates, finances, substance abuse, family / marital status, emotional / personal well-being, housing, and attitude. The LSI-R may be administered at intake to aid in security classification and programming decisions. The instrument is also commonly used to determine and modify levels of community supervision. Research on the validity of the LSI-R indicates that certain items and sub-scales are more closely correlated with recidivism than others, in part because inter-rater reliability can be difficult to achieve on many of its items. Among the sub-scales, one study found that the general risk/need score correlated highly with general recidivism. It also predicted recidivism among subgroups of people convicted of sexual offenses, domestic violence, and people with mental health problems. The specific risk/need scale produced a slightly higher correlation with violent recidivism. The LSI-R requires 30-45 minutes to complete.
Developer(s): Donald A. Andrews and James Bonta
Instrument Focus Areas:
The Payment Ability Evaluation is a seven-page form that probation officers in Maricopa County, Arizona use when payments of restitution and probation fees are delinquent for more than 30 days. By itemizing an individual’s monthly income, monthly expenses, assets, etc., the evaluation enables officers to assess an individual’s ability to make payments towards fines, fees, and restitution.
Developer(s): Maricopa County Adult Probation Department
Waiver of Court Fees and Costs
Instrument Focus Areas:
The application for a Waiver of Court Fees and Costs is used in all California courts to determine whether a defendant is eligible for having his or her court costs waived due to financial difficulty. The form assesses income levels, and eligibility for a number of programs that confirm financial difficulty, including Temporary Aid to Need Families (TANF), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and food stamps. The form, while used in courts, can also be used by corrections, probation, and parole staff to determine an individual’s ability to pay his or her court-ordered financial obligations.
Developer(s): Judicial Council of California