Essay on Offender Classification and Therapy

1514 Words 7 Pages
Over the last few decades classification systems for offenders have been used for a variety of organizational purposes. Over time these classification systems have evolved, not only as a whole in the criminal justice system, but also varying between different organizations. Classification systems that create models based on the risks and needs of offenders are most popular. Throughout the years these models and the purposes for their use have been in a state of change, as well as the way their effectiveness is gaged.
One of the most commonly used classification systems for offenders is the combination of risk assessment and need assessment. The combination of these two systems of classification is rather new. The earliest types of
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The second generation was characterized by the custody classification risks and parolees being classified on their risk of reoffending based on their custody classification. These early models were administered routinely but scores rarely changed because the information in the assessment was static and did not change over time (Van Voorhis, et al., 2009). Such information as the severity of prior convictions, and prior felonies did not change between assessments and led to an overly simple classification system that did not offer any options for treatment or change within offender behavior. Additionally, it was proven that the earliest risk assessment models were not accurate in dealing with female offenders because the history of women offenders is not as indicative of future behavior as it is with male offenders (Van Voorhis et al., 2008). While the original risk assessment models were helpful in achieving a basic glance at offender behavior risks, it lacked the quality assessment tools needed to not only determine whether an offender was going to be a danger while institutionalized or the community once paroled, but to fully offer options for rehabilitation.
More recently, the combination of risk/needs assessments have changed the course of classification models. No longer are risks assessments conducted solely for the institutionalized but also are used to foresee new transgressions with needs that are similarly elements of offender…