Fact Sheet: Selecting and Using Risk and Need Assessments

This document provides treatment court staff with a concise overview of important issues relating to risk assessment, as well as a list of recommended risk instruments. Numerous risk scales are currently used in the U.S. to assess static risk factors and criminogenic needs (dynamic risk factors related to the client’s propensity for criminal behavior), of which substance use is but one. Almost all of these are applied to predict risk post-adjudication.


Ralph C. Serin, Ph.D., C. Psych., Carleton University

Christopher T. Lowenkamp, Ph.D., University of Missouri–Kansas City

Date: 2016