Validation of the Risk and Resiliency Assessment Tool for Juveniles in the Los Angeles County Probation System

by Susan Turner, Terry Fain, Amber Sehgal

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As part of the settlement of a civil suit brought by the Black Probation Officers Association, the Los Angeles County Probation Department was required to allocate resources for the administration of a risk and needs instrument to its juvenile probationers. The parties agreed to stipulate the RAND Corporation as the evaluator of this instrument. After surveying a number of instruments, RAND chose the San Diego Risk and Resiliency Checkup (SDRRC) and conducted a pilot validation assessment of that instrument. RAND found that a youth’s “resiliency score” on the SDRRC (the net sum of risk factors, which have negative values, and protective factors, which have positive values) is significantly related to the youth’s 12-month recidivism rate. The Los Angeles Probation Department has implemented a policy to institutionalize the SDRRC, now referred to as the LARRC, and is developing an automated case plan that will build on the LARRC assessment instrument to provide a more consistent and objective foundation for determining appropriate services based upon the needs of the minor.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Background and Purpose

  • Chapter Two

    Selecting a Risk and Needs Instrument

  • Chapter Three

    Validating the Instrument

  • Chapter Four

    Study Findings

  • Chapter Five

    Conclusions

  • Appendix A

    Arrest Rates by Resiliency Score

  • Appendix B

    San Diego Risk and Resiliency Checkup

  • Appendix C

    Services Data Form

  • Appendix D

    Characteristics of the Sample and of All Probation Cases

  • Appendix E

    Computation of Weights

  • Appendix F

    Youth and Family Language and Proficiency

  • Appendix G

    Arrests During Follow-Up, by Resiliency Score and Ethnicity

The research described in this report was conducted within RAND Infrastructure, Safety, and Environment (ISE), a division of the RAND Corporation, for the Los Angeles County Probation Department.

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