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1 Risk Assessment in Corrections Larry Motiuk, PhD Director General, Offender Programs and Reintegration Canadian Criminal Justice Association Congress.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Risk Assessment in Corrections Larry Motiuk, PhD Director General, Offender Programs and Reintegration Canadian Criminal Justice Association Congress."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Risk Assessment in Corrections Larry Motiuk, PhD Director General, Offender Programs and Reintegration Canadian Criminal Justice Association Congress Halifax, October 29, 2009

2 2 Risk Assessment To ensure public safety and deal with crime, especially violent offenders, the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) has implemented effective offender assessment processes and tools to support offender management decision-making. To ensure public safety and deal with crime, especially violent offenders, the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) has implemented effective offender assessment processes and tools to support offender management decision-making. The Service has invested considerable resources by conducting research and training staff in offender risk assessment and management. From an international perspective, the Service is seen as technologically advanced in the area of offender risk assessment and correctional programming. The Service has invested considerable resources by conducting research and training staff in offender risk assessment and management. From an international perspective, the Service is seen as technologically advanced in the area of offender risk assessment and correctional programming. The Service assesses all offenders at admission in a comprehensive, integrated and systematic fashion and reassesses them routinely in the inside and while under supervision in the community thereafter. The Service assesses all offenders at admission in a comprehensive, integrated and systematic fashion and reassesses them routinely in the inside and while under supervision in the community thereafter.

3 3 Risk Assessment Information derived from offender assessments serve to instruct us with whom we are dealing, where they are, what they are like and what kind of problems not only they faced out in the community before they arrive to prison but also they experience when inside, released into the community and while under supervision. Information derived from offender assessments serve to instruct us with whom we are dealing, where they are, what they are like and what kind of problems not only they faced out in the community before they arrive to prison but also they experience when inside, released into the community and while under supervision. In 1994, the Offender Intake Assessment (OIA) process was implemented in all regions of the CSC. In 2009, the process was revised (R) and modernized under the auspices of a transformation initiative focused on strengthening public safety. In 1994, the Offender Intake Assessment (OIA) process was implemented in all regions of the CSC. In 2009, the process was revised (R) and modernized under the auspices of a transformation initiative focused on strengthening public safety. OIA-R represents the latest generation of risk assessment technology by integrating information gathered at the time of admission from a variety of sources using many techniques. Information collected during the OIA-R process is entered into the Offender Management System (OMS). OIA-R represents the latest generation of risk assessment technology by integrating information gathered at the time of admission from a variety of sources using many techniques. Information collected during the OIA-R process is entered into the Offender Management System (OMS).

4 4 Risk Assessment For corrections, the application of risk management principles to managing the chance of criminal recidivism is all that is required to develop an effective risk management program or to improve on an already existing one. For corrections, the application of risk management principles to managing the chance of criminal recidivism is all that is required to develop an effective risk management program or to improve on an already existing one. These risk management principles include: These risk management principles include:  the analysis of offender risk;  the exchange of information;  the monitoring of activities; and, if necessary  a correctional intervention (such as return to prison, programming).

5 5 Risk Assessment In practice, the analysis of offender risk serves to structure many of the decisions we make with respect to: In practice, the analysis of offender risk serves to structure many of the decisions we make with respect to:  custody/security designations;  program assignment;  temporary and conditional release; and  supervision requirements. Recently, CSC’s ability to enhance offender risk and need assessment in a systematic, comprehensive and integrated fashion is an important breakthrough because it reflects a strong commitment to improving public safety and changing lives and protecting Canadians. Recently, CSC’s ability to enhance offender risk and need assessment in a systematic, comprehensive and integrated fashion is an important breakthrough because it reflects a strong commitment to improving public safety and changing lives and protecting Canadians. From an operational perspective, the Service uses a risk/need or static/dynamic assessment and re-assessment approach to direct correctional interventions. From an operational perspective, the Service uses a risk/need or static/dynamic assessment and re-assessment approach to direct correctional interventions.

6 6 Risk Assessment During the Transformation Agenda, the Service has invested considerable human and fiscal resources towards improving offender risk assessment and management technology. During the Transformation Agenda, the Service has invested considerable human and fiscal resources towards improving offender risk assessment and management technology. Today, CSC staff has available to them a variety of assessment tools and computer equipment to assist them in meeting correctional challenges. Today, CSC staff has available to them a variety of assessment tools and computer equipment to assist them in meeting correctional challenges. The Service is also using its automated assessment technology to raise awareness about the entire federal offender population and show how resources and controls might be directed to particular segments of the offender population. The Service is also using its automated assessment technology to raise awareness about the entire federal offender population and show how resources and controls might be directed to particular segments of the offender population.

7 7 Risk Assessment - Process Offender Intake Assessment (OIA-R) Post-sentence Community Assessment, Initial Assessment (medical, security, mental health, suicide potential), Static Factors Assessment (criminal history) and Dynamic Factors Identification and Analysis-Revised (case needs), Offender Engagement (accountability, motivation and responsivity), and Supplementary Assessment (s) (Psychological, Educational, Vocational) are major components of the intake assessment process.

8 8 Risk Assessment - Process Offender Intake Assessment (OIA-R) Static Factors Assessment: At intake to federal corrections, a rating of static factors risk for every federal offender is based on the following:   the criminal history record, the offence severity record, the sex offence history checklist, whether detention criteria are met, the result of the SIR-R! scale, and any other risk factors as detailed in a criminal profile report.   A criminal profile report is also produced which provides details of the crime (s) for which the offender is currently under sentence.   A systematic review of the offender's file, which includes police reports, court transcripts and criminal records, yields an overall rating of criminal risk.

9 9 Risk Assessment - Process Offender Intake Assessment (OIA-R) Dynamic Factors Identification and Analysis: Research indicates that an offender's dynamic risk factors or case needs should drive programming, and that service delivery should focus primarily on successful reintegration into the community. These seven (7) need dimensions include: employment, marital/family, associates/social interaction, substance abuse, community functioning, personal/emotional orientation, and attitude.

10 10 Risk Assessment Tools Statistical Information on Recidivism Scale- Revised1 (SIR-R1) adopted by the National Parole Board in Canada as a release-risk scoring system, Parole Officers in CSC use the SIR scale to conduct an extensive review of an individual's official criminal record to complete 15 risk-related items (such as age, number and variety of criminal convictions, reaches of trust, etc.). The rating guidelines of the SIR were revised to SIR-R1 in 1996, to reflect changes in Canadian law (CCRA, YOA)/

11 11 Risk Assessment Tools Custody Rating Scale (CRS) Parole Officers use the Custody Rating Scale (CRS), which has been implemented by the Service, as an initial security level placement scoring system. Parole Officers use the Custody Rating Scale (CRS), which has been implemented by the Service, as an initial security level placement scoring system. The CRS scale involves an extensive review of an individual's official criminal and institutional record to complete two sub scales - Institutional Adjustment and Security Risk. The CRS scale involves an extensive review of an individual's official criminal and institutional record to complete two sub scales - Institutional Adjustment and Security Risk. The CRS provides a a broad assessment of offender pre-custody performance including: offence severity, length of sentence, escape history, disciplinary behaviour, and social stability.

12 12 Risk Assessment Tools Security Reclassification Scale (SRS) Parole Officers use the Security Reclassification Scale (SRS), and SRS-W (Women) which has been implemented by the Service, to assist in determining whether an inmate's security level should be changed. The SRS provides a a broad assessment of offender in-custody performance including disciplinary behaviour, correctional program and work progress, current substance abuse status, and breach of trust history.

13 13 MEASURING RESULTS CONTRIBUTE TO PROTECTION OF SOCIETY SAFETY OF THE PUBLIC SAFETY OF STAFF SAFETY OF OFFENDERS Escapes New Offences Assaults on Staff Institutional Disturbance Hostage-taking Assaults / Murders Suicide /Self- Mutilation

14 14Conclusion It is reasonable to assume that the risk on intake of a relatively unknown quantity and thereafter demands a precautionary approach (systematic assessment and reassessment). The paramount principle of protecting society including other inmates, staff and the public at large demands nothing less. The aim is to protect the public and assist in the rehabilitation of the offender.


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