Literature Review: Risk Assessment Tools for Children in Conflict with the Law

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This literature review aims to produce a summary analysis of research literature on risk assessment tools. It begins by defining the concepts of risk and need. This is followed by a review of the development of risk assessment tools. Several risk assessment tools are then described including two that are used in Ireland - the Youth Level of Service/Case Management Inventory (YLS/CMI), a Canadian risk assessment tool developed by Hoge and Andrews (2002) and Asset developed in Britain by the Youth Justice Board (2000). Following this, principles of risk assessment and management are outlined. Finally, recommendations include the IYJS supporting the introduction of a general risk assessment instrument and providing training and support for staff. Risk assessment should form part of each young person’s comprehensive assessment when they become involved with the juvenile justice sector - whether that is in one of the four children’s detention schools or in a community project which is funded by the IYJS.


Siobhan Young

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