The Role of Age in Risk Assessment and Classification




Durso, Joseph M

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Corresponding with the movement towards evidence-based crime policy, risk assessment instruments now guide correctional practice more than ever before. Despite the fact that the age-crime relationship is a longstanding truth within criminology and criminal justice, current age is not a factor which informs assessed risk on the majority of currently used risk tools. This thesis explores whether incorporating age into risk assessment techniques could lead to potential improvements in predicting future offending behavior. The data analyzed comes from one state’s department of corrections; information from risk assessments is used in combination with current age to assess the degree to which age matters in predicting future offending. The findings suggest that risk tools would do a more complete job measuring “risk” if current age was incorporated into the scoring of assessments. Lastly, limitations and future research into this topic are discussed.



Age, Risk classification, Community corrections, Risk assessment