Use of Valid Actuarial Assessments of Risk and Needs

Moving Toward Implementing Practice Improvements and Performance Measurement

If a parole Board decides to incorporate empirical risk assessment information into their decision-making about low risk offenders, the following seven step process is recommended as a way of moving forward.  Undertaking this process as a team (parole Board members, hearing officers and if appropriate, supervision staff) will facilitate the development of a shared understanding of the current approach to the release of low risk offenders, provide an opportunity to revisit shared goals and values, and build a commitment to implement agreed-upon changes. 

The remainder of this section moves through these steps to assist parole Boards to explore the current research, review existing policy/practice, assess where opportunities for change exist, and plan for desired change. Regardless of whether the parole Board engages in this process as a full body, sub-committee, or working group, it will be important to move through this process as a team. Team-based approaches provide a strong foundation for developing a shared understanding of current practice, and considering what changes might strengthen that practice.

A "roadmap" that illustrates the steps recommended and provides a way to navigate to a description of each step:

Current Condition Setting Practice Step 1: Convene Board or working group and agree on a charter. Step 2: As a team, complete the NPRC Self-Assessment Tool Kit. Step 3: Review the evidence-based practice research on condition setting. Step 4: Develop a shared understanding of your board's current condition setting practice. Step 5: Consider your Board's goals for condition setting and develop a shared statement for your purpose; convene working sessions to discuss: number of conditions, standard and special conditions, targeting for maximum risk reduction, and conditions for special populations of offenders. Step 6: Develop a strategy to implement changes to condition setting policy and practice. Step 7: Develop a plan to measure performance.

The remainder of this section moves through these steps to assist Parole Boards – working as a team – in exploring the existing state of collaboration, assessing whether opportunities for change exist, and planning for desired changes.

< Risk and Need Principles
and Effective Interventions

Step 1: Convene working group
and agree on a charter