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New Risk Instrument for Offenders Improves Classification Decisions

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Elizabeth Drake, Robert Barnoski - March 2009

The 1999 Offender Accountability Act (OAA) affects how the Department of Corrections (DOC) supervises convicted felony offenders in the community. The Institute was directed by the legislature to evaluate the OAA. The OAA requires DOC to supervise offenders according to their risk for future offending, which is estimated using instruments that classify offenders into groups with similar characteristics.

The Institute developed a "static risk" instrument, which DOC began using as part of its Risk Level Classification (RLC) system in 2008. This new system replaced DOC's previous Risk Management Identification (RMI) system, which had been in use since the OAA was implemented. Comparing recidivism rates of offenders classified under the new RLC and the old RMI systems, this report finds the new system to have better predictive accuracy than the prior system.

Report ID: 09-03-1201

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