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Risk Assessment & Case Planning

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 screening or risk-needs assessment using risk-need-responsivity-based practices in a manner 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 screening or risk-needs assessment instrument and how many of our services the agency would like to obtain.

We offer consultation on the implementation process for any evidence-based risk-needs assessment instrument, whether your agency is interested in adopting a risk instrument for the first time or is attempting to improve its existing assessment practices. We review the latest research on the validity of risk-needs assessment instruments for use with different subgroups of youth (e.g., racial groups, youth in different settings) in order to recommend those with the strongest science base.

Risk-Needs Assessment and Case Planning Consultation Services:

We provide the following types of consultation related to implementation of risk screening and risk-needs assessment in multiple settings, including probation or district attorney-based diversion decisions, probation, and correctional settings:

  1. Determining your Needs: Consultation may include (a) selecting the best risk-needs assessment instrument for your agency and jurisdiction and customizing its use in your agency as needed, or (b) improving use of your existing risk screen or risk-needs assessment instrument.
  2. Implementation of Risk Assessment & Case Planning: We can assist with the multiple steps involved in implementing risk-needs assessments with fidelity, including but not limited to:
    • Working to obtain stakeholder (e.g., judges, defense attorneys, prosecutors, service agencies) and staff buy-in, including presentations to your stakeholders or advising about strategies for dissemination of information about risk-needs assessment.
    • Preparing policies and procedures and decision-support tools (e.g., case plan, disposition recommendations templates, service matrix) that promote incorporating risk-related needs routinely into agency decision-making.
    • Facilitating pilot testing of the risk-needs or risk screening instrument, new policies and procedures.
    • Determining the necessary data system modifications.
  3. Training in Risk Assessment & Case Planning: A major driver for strong and sustainable implementation is staff and supervisor competency. We provide training at multiple levels, including:
    • Training and master trainer training for staff on completing specific risk-needs assessment instruments (e.g., the YLS/CMI, the SAVRY) including measures of their proficiency.
    • Training on interviewing youth and families.
    • Training staff on case planning and selecting appropriate services and interventions using risk-need-responsivity principles.
    • Master trainer training on case planning, including measurement of your staff members’ proficiency
    • Supervisor Training
  4. Assets Mapping: We can provide community asset mapping for agencies to identify resources that will match youths dynamic risk areas/needs, develop an agency-specific multi-tiered services matrix to facilitate targeted referrals based on youth risk/needs and services eligibility criteria, and highlight areas for community capacity development. This process has two aims: to support appropriate referrals to effective resources based on youth's risk/needs and to support systems capacity building to improve the local community’s continuum of care for the target population.
  5. Quality Control and Continuous Quality Improvement: We provide consultation to help agencies (a) develop quality assurance policies and tools, (b) facilitate on-going quality assurance, and (c) design an on-going data-tracking program.
  6. Sustainability: Once agencies have their assessment and case planning process in place, it is important to support its continued use with fidelity. We can assist with the design of a coaching model for completing the risk-needs assessment and case planning, and development of an assessment or learning community across your agency to continually improve procedures and ensure the assessment and case planning are completed with fidelity.


NYSAP offers orientation trainings for stakeholders and skill development training on specific risk instruments (YLS/CMI and SAVRY), risk-need-responsivity, and case planning for staff and supervisors in multiple settings (youth diversion, probation, and corrections). Trainings are available for either on-site or remote technology. For a complete list of trainings, please check our training page.

Related Publications by NYSAP Professionals

thumbnailRisk Assessment in Juvenile Justice: A Guidebook for Implementation (2012)

Gina M. Vincent, Ph.D., Laura S. Guy, Ph.D., and Thomas Grisso, Ph.D.

Empirical support for aspects of the manual can be found in the following publications:
  • Vincent, G. M., Guy, L. E., Fusco, S.L., & Gershenson, B.G. (2011). Field reliability of the SAVRY with probation officers: Implications for training. Law Hum Behav. 2012 Jun;36(3):225-36. doi: 10.1007/s10979-011-9284-2.
  • Vincent, G. M., Guy, L. E., Gershenson, B.G., & McCabe, P. (2012). Does risk assessment make a difference? Results of implementing the SAVRY in juvenile probation. Behav Sci Law. 2012 Jul;30(4):384-405. doi: 10.1002/bsl.2014.
  • Vincent, G. M., Paiva-Salisbury, M. L.,Cook, N. E., Guy, L. S., Perrault, R. T. (2012). Impact of risk/needs assessment on juvenile probation officers’ decision making: Importance of implementation. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law. 2012 Nov; 18(4):549-576. doi: 10.1037/a0027186.
thumbnailStudying Drivers of Risk and Needs Assessment Instrument Implementation in Juvenile Justice (2018)

Gina Vincent, Christopher J. Sullivan, Carrie Sullivan, Laura Guy, Edward Latessa, Jennifer Tyson, & Benjamin Adams

Click here for more Risk/Needs Assessment related publications

Free risk for re-arrest tool for law enforcement 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.