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RSAT Forum > Monthly Discussion > September 2018: Assessment Instrument Needed for Diversion Drug Court View modes: 
skeller - 9/11/2018 11:09:15 AM
September 2018: Assessment Instrument Needed for Diversion Drug Court
We're seeking advice for a county facility in need of a pre-trial assessment instrument to be used in a small diversionary drug court. A fair number of RSAT graduates from their county facility are referred to our Drug Court either upon release by their probation officer or after a positive drug screen. They are hoping to find a public domain, easily implemented tool that doesn’t need much or any training to use.  They want to be able to predict failure to appear and new criminal behaviors (violent behaviors especially).  Any suggestions on such an instrument is appreciated, as are other behaviors we may want to take into account.  Thank you in advance!

skeller - 9/18/2018 12:20:55 PM
RE:September 2018: Assessment Instrument Needed for Diversion Drug Court
Answer from RSAT program staff member, Roberta Churchill: Thanks for your question! The most common risk and needs assessment instruments that RSAT Programs across the country indicate they are using are the Risk and Needs Triage (RANT), Level of Service Inventory – Revised (LSI-R), Level of Service/Case Management Inventory (LSCMI), Ohio Risk Assessment System (ORAS), Global Appraisal of Individual Needs (GAIN), and COMPAS. However, none of these are available without training or within the public domain (free). Costs of materials / training vary. The RANT and versions of the ORAS are specifically designed to be used for people at or near disposition of their case.

A specific pre-trial assessment instrument that seems to be in the public domain is the Colorado Pre-Trial Assessment Tool. This instrument addresses new violations / criminal activity and FTAs but does not predict new violent criminal behavior. It is also normed on the Colorado justice involved population which is a smaller sub-population with specific needs versus other jurisdictions. Unfortunately, it is difficult to find free, valid and reliable assessment based on the criminal justice population that don’t have a cost to them and don’t need training. Ensuring the integrity of the instrument to make sure it that remains a reliable and valid tool results in thorough training by professionals, some kind of built in quality assurance and ongoing research on the instrument.

There may be other effective pre-trial assessments available as well that have lower costs – I hope that others reading the forum can offer some other suggestions!