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Developing a Juvenile Risk Assessment Instrument for Iowa State Evaluation Capacity Building, 1994-1995 (ICPSR 2632)

Principal Investigator(s):

Summary:

This study was undertaken to address Iowa's inability to classify juveniles at risk of recidivism uniformly across the state by creating and testing a proposed risk assessment instrument. It was anticipated that the risk assessment instrument would be useful in not only providing the juvenile court officers with a tool to appropriately assess the risk of recidivism, but also in providing "common ground" to treatment staff and other relevant officials to determine whether certain interventions worked better with certain levels of risk than others, and whether limited resources were being appropriately utilized in providing appropriate interventions to juveniles with specific risk scores. To develop the Proposed Iowa Juvenile Court Intake Risk Assessment, a team of juvenile court representatives from all eight judicial districts in Iowa, consisting of juvenile court officers, intake officers, and supervisors, designed a risk assessment test instrument to assess a group of juveniles at intake during a one-month period between October and November 1994. The follow-up data collection was conducted by chief juvenile court officers eight months after the original data collection. The purpose of the follow-up was to gather data regarding reoffending. Risk assessment variables include types and number of current offenses, prior arrests and adjudication, histories of supervision and service, substance use and abuse, runaway occurrences, peer relationships, gang affiliation, attitude during intake interview, level of parental control, schooling status (dropped out, graduated, truant), type of current school, discipline problems, suspensions at school, current employment, history of family problems, and reoffending. Demographic variables include offender's sex and race.

Access Notes

  • These data are freely available.

Dataset(s)

Dataset - Download All Files (3 MB)

Study Description

Citation

Huff, David, and Lettie Prell. Developing a Juvenile Risk Assessment Instrument for Iowa State Evaluation Capacity Building, 1994-1995. ICPSR02632-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2000. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR02632.v1

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Funding

This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (93-IJ-CX-K019)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   criminal histories, intervention, juvenile offenders, recidivism, risk assessment, treatment programs, youths at risk

Geographic Coverage:   Iowa, United States

Time Period:  

  • 1994--1995

Date of Collection:  

  • 1994--1995

Unit of Observation:   Individuals (juvenile offenders).

Universe:   Juvenile offenders receiving court intake interviews between October 10, 1994, and November 10, 1994, in the state of Iowa.

Data Types:   administrative records data, survey data

Methodology

Study Purpose:   This study sought to address Iowa's inability to classify juveniles at risk of recidivism uniformly across the state by creating a proposed risk assessment instrument. The Iowa Division of Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning (CJJP), Iowa Department of Human Rights, was mandated to conduct long-range planning for the criminal and juvenile justice systems, to study pertinent issues, and to provide technical assistance to jurisdictions in their planning and research endeavors. In 1993, CJJP received federal funds through the National Institute of Justice to improve Iowa's capacity to conduct criminal and juvenile justice evaluations. In investigating ways in which this special funding could be put to use, CJJP met with the chief juvenile court officers to discuss their needs. The chief juvenile court officers expressed interest in the development of a risk assessment instrument for use by the juvenile court at the time of intake. It was anticipated that the risk assessment instrument would be useful not only in providing the juvenile court officers with a tool to appropriately assess the risk of recidivism, but also in providing "common ground" to treatment staff and other relevant officials to determine whether certain interventions worked better with certain levels of risk than others, and whether limited resources were being appropriately utilized in providing appropriate interventions to juveniles with specific risk scores.

Study Design:   To develop the Proposed Iowa Juvenile Court Intake Risk Assessment, a team of juvenile court representatives from all eight judicial districts in Iowa, consisting of juvenile court officers, intake officers, and supervisors, designed the risk assessment test instrument to assess a group of juveniles at intake during a one-month period between October and November 1994. The risk assessment data collection instrument was sent to the chief juvenile court officers statewide between October and November 1994. At the end of each week, the completed data collection instrument forms were sent to CJJP. In cases in which information was missing or difficult to read, CJJP staff worked with the officers to obtain the correct data. The follow-up data collection was conducted by chief juvenile court officers eight months after the original data collection. The purpose of the follow-up was to gather data regarding reoffending. The follow-up consisted of revisiting the intake cases and recording subsequent activities, including action taken following intake (e.g., informal adjustment, consent decree, etc.), any re-referrals by law enforcement that occurred, and any significant dispositions changes.

Sample:   Convenience sampling.

Data Source:

personal interviews and administrative records

Description of Variables:   Risk assessment variables include types and number of current offenses, prior arrests and adjudication, histories of supervision and service, substance use and abuse, runaway occurrences, peer relationships, gang affiliation, attitude during intake interview, level of parental control, schooling status (dropped out, graduated, truant), type of current school, discipline problems, suspensions at school, current employment, history of family problems, and reoffending. Demographic variables include offender's sex and race.

Response Rates:   Approximately 94 percent of juvenile offenders who completed the court intake process responded to the intake interviews.

Presence of Common Scales:   None.

Extent of Processing:  ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Standardized missing values.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

Version(s)

Original ICPSR Release:  

Version History:

  • 2005-11-04 On 2005-03-14 new files were added to one or more datasets. These files included additional setup files as well as one or more of the following: SAS program, SAS transport, SPSS portable, and Stata system files. The metadata record was revised 2005-11-04 to reflect these additions.

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