Risk Assessment in Probation classification: Current state of the art agenda for the future

Francis Michael Martin Timko, Fordham University


This is a study of the origins, development and current status of Risk Assessment in Probation. It begins an examination of the major risk literature and then proceeds to the major instrument variables and the methods used to assemble present day instruments. A review of the major instruments and their performance is then provided along with the policy implications of their use. The current state of the art is then examined including what questions remain and what possible new directions might be taken, in the development of more advanced instruments. This study determines that although the field of Risk Assessment has matured from the naive position that it was non political and value free to the realization that it is neither, the probation component still has not advanced to that point. This study demonstrates that the current state of the art in probation systems is not adequate to the task of true risk identification. It was also determined that the explosive growth of risk instruments in probation was due to the managerial needs that gave birth to their rise and that the systems remain because they fulfill managerial objectives. The current risk measures are flawed and outdated but they will not be improved unless managerial needs are also satisfied with any new instruments.

Subject Area

Criminology|Social research

Recommended Citation

Timko, Francis Michael Martin, "Risk Assessment in Probation classification: Current state of the art agenda for the future" (1991). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9127047.