Worksheets, such as the Missouri and Washington Risk Assessments are valuable tools used by criminal justice practitioners. Moreover, Risk Assessment scales are used in both formal and informal capacities, to determine the potential risk or harm an individual poses to society should he or she be released from detention or custody. The following is an example of how the Missouri and Washington Risk Assessment worksheets can be utilized when applied in two completely different cases; it is important to remember that the primary purpose of both Risk Assessment Scales are to identify specific classifications of juvenile offenders. Offenders are classified on a scale of being low, moderate, or at high-risk behavior and each assessment places slightly different emphasis on specific categories, as will be illustrated.
The Missouri Risk Assessment consists of a risk scale that encompasses of the following ten risk factors:
1. Age at first referral
2. Prior referrals
3. Peer relationships
4. Family dynamics
5. School behavior
6. History of abuse and/or neglect
7 Referrals for assault
8 History of out-of-home placement
9. Substance abuse
10. History of parental incarceration
The Washington Risk Assessment consists of a Pre-Screen and a comprehensive or full Assessment. We will only use the Pre-Screen Risk Assessment to compare our results. The pre-screen is used as an initial evaluation of a youth’s individuality to determine if interventions are possible. The pre-screen consists of thirty-one questions that reflect the most powerful risk factors to determine level of risk. The pre-screen is an abbreviated version of the full assessment that promptly point out whether a juvenile is of low, moderate, or high risk.
The two that we will be comparing are Missouri Risk Assessment and Washington Risk Assessment is administered to all youth who are on probation. It is usually completed when the juvenile first come into intake. The two youth we will be evaluating are Colleen and Xander. We will assess Colleen first, then Xander.
The first youth we will be evaluating is Colleen M. She is a fifteen-year-old Caucasian girl.
Colleen M. was charged with involuntary manslaughter, adjudicated delinquent by the court and also was involved in a vehicle accident that was ruled an accidental homicide.
Colleen M. no prior contacts with the law, she admits to having runaway from her Aunt in the past, though always returning on her own.
Colleen M. never was sentence to any time in a juvenile detention center.
Colleen M. seems to demonstrate some psychological issues. For example in one incident she took a pair of decorative shoes off the feet of the corpse and without delay put them on her own feet. She blame here action was caused by peer pressure. And another incident where she threw a nearby bucket of liquid on her neighbor. It turn out the liquid was pesticide and not water. The pesticide burned the skin of the neighbor. This cause a severe allergic reaction in the neighbor resulting in her death. Colleen alleges that she was merely attempting to extinguish the fire.
Her father deserted the family when she was a baby. Her mother is currently in a drug rehabilitation facility.
Colleen has been living on a farm with her Aunt. Currently at this time here mother is at in a drug rehabilitation facility.
Colleen has lived in the state for her entire life.
Prior Alcohol and Drug Abuse.
Colleen was recently arrested for opiates. She tested positive for opiates in here blood. She alleges that when she was drifting with three homeless men, unknowingly they staggered upon a field of poppies. Due to the aroma, it caused them to pass out.
Colleen M. has status offenses of running away.
Colleen was charged with involuntary manslaughter and adjudicated delinquent by the court.
She was never placed in any types of programs or spent any time in a juvenile detention center.
Analysis: Using The Missouri Risk Assessment and Washington Risk Assessment
The results of both placed Colleen at a High Risk Level. Moreover, the Missouri Risk Assessment risk score for Colleen was 8, placing her in the High Risk Level. This assessment was quick and fast. But not enough information was provided for Colleen in the information that was provided.
The Washington Risk Assessment pre-screen risk score for Colleen resulted in the High Risk Level. The first section of the assessment was criminal history score, of which Colleen scored 12 points. The second section score for social history, Colleen scored 15 points. The assessment used both results of the criminal history score and social history to determine the risk level, Colleen’s scored a High Risk Level.
The Washington Risk Assessment pre-screen risk also had a section on attitude and behavior but it did not used it to determine the score of the risk level. Some of the questions in the assessment really did not pertain to Colleen.
The second individual evaluated was Xander L. a 17-year-old black male and recognized gang member.
Xander was immediately arrested for possession of a concealed weapon. Xander pled guilty to the charge.
Xander has previous run-in with the law. This juvenile adjudication includes purse snatching, breaking and entering into homes and drug possession. His first juvenile adjudication started at the age of 13 years old.
Xander spent a year in a juvenile detention center. He was placed on juvenile probation twice.
Xander is involved in a gang. Not enough information was provide on how long he was involved or what kind of gang,
Xander resides with his mother in an underprivileged neighborhood, housing projects. He has no acquaintance with his father.
His mother like most underprivileged family works two jobs. Xander’s mother is willing to help him out when he needs it. He is has a strong relationship with his mother, even though she disapproves of his behavior. His mother has reported Xander to the police. Even though Xander dropped out of high school he would like to obtain his G.E.D., to make his mother pleased of him.
Xander resides in the housing projects, it was not mention how long he resides their.
Prior Alcohol and Drug Abuse
Xander has a juvenile adjudication that included drug possession. It was not mention whether or not he used drugs or alcohol.
Xander L. is a recognized gang member and has prior juvenile adjudications.
Xander is charged for possession of a concealed weapon. In which he pled guilty.
Xander has been in a juvenile detention center when he was 13 years old, where he spent a year. He was also placed on probation twice.
Analysis: Using The Missouri Risk Assessment and Washington Risk Assessment
The result of both risk assessment placed Colleen in the High Risk Level.
The Missouri Risk Assessment risk score for Xander was 11, placing him in the High Risk Level. This assessment was not detail enough for Xander. He had a history behind him that required for evaluation.
The Washington Risk Assessment pre-screen risk score for Xander resulted in the High Risk Level. The first section of the assessment was criminal history score, of which Xander scored 19 points. The second section score for social history, Xander scored 16 points. The assessment used both results of the criminal history score and social history to determine the risk level, Xander’s scored a High Risk Level. This assessment seemed to benefit evaluating Xander requirements more than the Missouri Risk Assessment.
The Washington Risk Assessment pre-screen risk also had a section on attitude and behavior but it did not used it to determine the score of the risk level. This section of the assessment benefited in Xander attitude and behavior been involved d in a gang. Most of the questions in the assessment really were appropriate for Xander’s evaluation.
Based on the data available, it appears that both Risk Assessment presented similar outcome. Both Missouri Risk Assessment and Washington Risk Assessment are tools that help to identify the risk of juveniles. With more information of the two individuals we evaluated we would be able to provide more information. These assessments identified and predicted potential delinquency.
A potential recommendation for these individuals in a correctional strategy is to focus on the problem and less on get-tough approaches. Both Colleen M. and Xander L. can put emphasis on rehabilitation and prevention. Prevention and rehabilitation concentrate on the causes of delinquency. Their program should have one focus, on prevention or rehabilitation. Prevention programs are to stop juveniles from becoming delinquents. Rehabilitation programs are to focus on reducing delinquency of juveniles.
Program should focus on family environment, weekly visits by all professional involved. Have programs focusing on delinquent peers/gangs. Correctional setting programs that focus on reducing influences of delinquent peer groups/gangs. Both teenagers can have mentoring, where each are matched with a nonprofessional volunteers
1. Assessing Risk for Re-Offense (2004). Validating the Washington State Juvenile Court Assessment. Retrieved Aug. 18, 2005 from the website: www.wsipp.wa.gov .
2. National Center for Juvenile Justice. (2004). “Washington.” State Juvenile Justice Profiles. Retrieved August 18, 2005 from the website: http://www.ncjj.org/stateprofiles/profiles/WA04.asp?state=WA04.asp&topic=Profile
3. University Of Phoenix. (2005). Juvenile Justice CJA 400 (R1) Retrieved August 18, 2005, from University of Phoenix Web site: https://mycampus.phoenix.edu/secure/resource/resource.asp