Assessment in juvenile services
Hennepin County's Department of Community Corrections and Rehabilitation is committed to using assessment tools to make objective juvenile justice decisions. The department evaluates individuals to provide personalized services in the community as our primary intervention. This is key to supporting the health and well-being of youth in the juvenile justice system and promoting the public safety of Hennepin County. Hennepin County is working on the creation of a new assessment tool to help inform equitable practices and policies. Visit the YLS section below for more information.
Striving for continuous improvement
At the foundation of evidence-based practice, which guides our work in corrections, is assessing actuarial risk. Assessment results drive resource allocation decisions by helping to identify people who are more or less likely to re-enter the system via new adjudications or convictions. Objective assessments help ensure consistency in decisions across the Department of Community Corrections and Rehabilitation’s (DOCCR) many staff striving to serve youth, families, victims and Hennepin residents.
Hennepin County has participated in juvenile justice reform with assistance from the Annie E. Casey Foundation for over a decade. Despite reform that significantly decreased juvenile system participation without increasing recidivism, disproportionality in the system has increased. DOCCR seeks to develop a local assessment tool that considers racial disparities while improving accuracy in the area of risk prediction, particularly for those most disproportionately represented the Hennepin County juvenile justice system.
Description of project
- To develop an actuarial assessment tool that considers the unique demographics within our large urban community. This project includes meeting with youth, families, impacted communities and professional stakeholders to garner feedback about DOCCR assessment practices.
- Create an assessment practice that focuses more on strength and resiliency of kids in the justice system.
- A tool that better balances risk factors and that focus on kids’ well-being.
The new assessment tool will continue to help make decisions in Hennepin County’s juvenile justice system, particularly around resource allocation. The tool will consider and balance goals of accuracy, distribution, equity, equality and utility. DOCCR has partnered with Big Picture Research and Consulting (BPRAC) to complete this project. You are invited to participate in a discussion to help inform the tool.