Social Factors in Probation: Calculating Probationer Risk

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Running Head: CALCULATING PROBATIONER RISK ________________________________________________________________________ Calculating Probationer Risk Student's Name Course Title April 1, 2013 Calculating Probationer Risk Once an offender has served their time in prison they are released back into the community. Many of these offenders will face months or years of community supervision by the correctional system, a program designed to help them transition to civilian life and reduce recidivism rates. Probation officers must therefore understand the risk of recidivism and noncompliance for each individual offender (reviewed by Hildebrand, Hol, and Bosker, 2013). This essay examines the tools probation officers are increasingly using to make these determinations. The Risk, Need, and Responsivity (RNR) Model The RNR model, the dominant evidence-based risk determination model, is based on the three principles of risk, need, and responsivity (reviewed by Polaschek, 2012). The term 'risk' in this model refers to the likelihood that an offender will re-offend based on 'static' factors. These static factors include the severity of crimes committed, how many, whether violence was involved, and incarceration history. This information can typically be derived from the offender's criminal record and is used to calculate whether an offender has a high or low risk of recidivism. Static risk scores are used to determine whether an offender can largely be left alone (low-risk) in the

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