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Risk Screening & Risk/Needs Assessment

Assessing the risk of reoffending and intervention needs of youth is considered best practice within certain settings of juvenile justice. NYSAP has the experience and expertise to assist you in implementing a risk assessment system that meets the needs of your juvenile justice agency and jurisdiction. The cost for our consultation services will vary depending on where your agency is in the process of implementing a risk assessment system and how many of our services the agency would like to obtain.

We can provide training workshops on the following instruments:

We offer consultation on the implementation process for any evidenced-based risk assessment instruments, whether your agency is interested in adopting a risk assessment instrument for the first time or attempting to improve its existing risk assessment practices. We review the latest research on the validity of risk assessment instruments in order to recommend those with the strongest science base.

RNR Checklist

Our risk assessment consultation services can help you with:

For more information about our risk assessment consultation services please contact us at, or complete this request form. You will receive a response within one to two business days.

*** Free Arrest Screening Tool Available ***


The Massachusetts Arrest Screening Tool for Law Enforcement (MASTLE) is an objective screening tool validated in Massachusetts jurisdictions that assesses the likelihood a youth taken into police custody for a criminal offense will be arrested again or will fail to appear for arraignment. This information will allow police supervisors and commanders to make appropriate pre-processing decisions based on the presence of youths’ risk factors; such as, whether to hold youth in pre-arraignment detention at the police station or to divert youth away from formal arrest. For more information on this screening tool, please download our MASTLE Brief and MASTLE Executive Summary. If you would like to receive a free copy of this screening tool along with the user's manual, please complete our online request form (note: this form only works with Firefox and Chrome web browsers). If you are using Internet Explorer, please download this request form and email it to

Click here if you wish to request training on the MASTLE or technical assistance for implementing this screening tool. Costs will vary based on needs.

Recent presentations:





Check out these recent Risk Assessment publications:

Risk Assessment and Behavioral Health Screening Project (2018)
Gina M. Vincent and Rachael Perrault

Abstract:Juvenile probation offices that implemented risk-needs assessment instruments and the risk-needresponsivity approach reduced formal supervision and recidivism; however, mental health services were used more often than risk-reduction services and had little influence on recidivism.

Are Risk Assessments Racially Biased?: Field Study of the SAVRY and YLS/CMI in Probation
Rachael T. Perrault, M.A., Gina M. Vincent, Ph.D., and Laura S. Guy, Ph.D.

Abstract: Risk assessment instruments are widely used by juvenile probation officers (JPOs) to make case management decisions; however, few studies have investigated whether these instruments maintain their predictive validity when completed by JPOs in the field. Moreover, the validity of these instruments for use with minority groups has been called into question. This field study examined the predictive validity of both the Structured Assessment of Violence Risk in Youth (SAVRY; n=383) and the Youth Level of Service/Case Management Inventory (YLS/CMI; n=359) for reoffending when completed by JPOs. The study also compared Black and White youth to examine the presence of test bias. The SAVRY and YLS/CMI significantly predicted reoffending at the test level, with most of the variance in reoffending accounted for by dynamic risk scales not static scales. The instruments did not differentially predict reoffending as a function of race but Black youth scored higher than White youth on the YLS/CMI scale related to official juvenile history. The implications for use of risk assessments in the field are discussed. Read the full article here.

Risk Assessment Matters, But Only When Implemented Well: A Multisite Study in Juvenile Probation (2016)
Gina M. Vincent, Laura S. Guy, Rachael T. Perrault, and Bernice Gershenson

Abstract: There is a strong movement toward juvenile justice agencies’ use of risk assessment and risk-need-responsivity approaches to improve case management decisions for young offenders. However, little is known about whether adoption of risk assessment actually effectuates any changes in the way young offenders are handled. This was a multisite study of the impact on case processing of implementation of the Structured Assessment of Violence Risk in Youth (SAVRY) or Youth Level of Service/Case Management Inventory in 6 juvenile probation offices using a prepost design and 1,694 propensity score-matched young offenders. Consistent with the risk principle, there were significant changes to at least some areas of case processing in all but 1 site, most notably with respect to decreases in the amount of supervision youth received and in rates of out-of-home placement. The nature and extent of the impact varied as a function of sites’ characteristics and implementation quality, not as a function of the risk assessment used. No increases in recidivism were observed in any site, and there was a significant reduction in recidivism in 1 site. The key benefits of implementation of valid risk assessment and case management procedures were improved resource allocation and fewer instances of inappropriate interference in youths’ lives without an apparent increased risk to public safety. Read the full article here.




How to Get the Most Out of Risk Assessment in Juvenile Justice (2013)
by Gina M. Vincent, Ph.D., and Laura S. Guy, Ph.D.

Video: Screening & Risk Assessment in Juvenile Justice Systems


Screening and Assessment in the Juvenile Justice Systems: Identifying Mental Health Needs and Risk of Reoffending (2012)
by Gina M. Vincent, Ph.D.

This presentation was made possible through generous support of John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation: Models for Change. Presented by the Center for Safe Schools.


Risk Assessment Briefs:

RA to Reduce Recidivism

Innovation Brief: Using Risk Assessment to Meet
Needs and Reduce Recidivism (2012)
by Gina M. Vincent, Ph.D. & Laura S. Guy, Ph.D.

Can Risk Assessment

Knowledge Brief: Can Risk Assessment Improve Juvenile Justice Practices? (2011)
by the Models for Change Research Initiative


Click on the link below to see some of the research our NYSAP team has conducted in the field of risk/needs assessment in juvenile justice systems.

Risk/Needs Assessment related publications