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Re-validation of the Nonviolent Offender Risk Assessment Instrument: Preliminary Findings. Current Instrument. Refined Risk Assessment Instrument: Significant Factors in Assessing Risk. Relative Degree of Importance. Offender Age. Prior Felony Record. Offense Type. Not Regularly Employed.

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refined risk assessment instrument significant factors in assessing risk
Refined Risk Assessment Instrument:Significant Factors in Assessing Risk

Relative Degree of Importance

Offender Age

Prior Felony Record

Offense Type

Not Regularly Employed

Male Offender

Prior Adult Incarcerations

Prior Arrest w/in Past 18 Mos.

Additional Offenses

Never Married by Age 26

slide5

Risk Assessment Outcomes for Nonviolent Offenders *

Not Recommended

for Alternative

Recommended for Alternative

N=6,062

N=6,141

N=6,418

N=6,413

N=6,981

N=7,060

N=6,704

N=6,204

* Offenders recommended by the sentencing guidelines for

prison or jail incarceration

slide7

Identification of Offenders for the Study

  • Offenders were identified from the sentencing guidelines database
  • Selection criteria:
    • Felony fraud, larceny, and drug offenders
    • Sentenced in FY2005 and FY2006 (most recent that can be used)
    • Recommended for incarceration by the sentencing guidelines (jail or prison)
    • Meet risk assessment eligibility requirements
    • No worksheet errors

Status: Complete

slide9

Selection of Study Sample (based on approved design)

  • Staff drew a sample of 1,799 offenders who met the selection criteria
  • Staff selected cases based on a stratified random sampling technique to increase the likelihood of including offenders with juvenile adjudications of delinquency
    • Criminological studies have shown that juvenile record and the age of first contact with the juvenile justice system are often correlated with subsequent offense behavior as an adult

Status: Complete

slide10

Composition of the Sample

Total sample: 1,799 offenders

For the analysis, the sampled cases were weighted to reflect each subgroup’s actual proportion in the population

slide11

Selection of Study Sample (based on approved design)

  • A large sample was preferred, as some cases were eliminated in subsequent stages
    • For some offenders, supplemental data revealed a prior conviction for a violent felony
    • Some offenders were still incarcerated
    • Some offenders had died
    • For one case, available data were insufficient to include the offender
  • The approved strategy is similar to the original risk assessment study completed in 1997
slide12

Virginia Criminal History Records

  • Staff requested and received criminal history records (“rap sheets”) from the Virginia State Police
    • These only reflect criminal arrests and convictions within Virginia
    • Records were provided in database format
    • Staff examined the data to remove duplicate records and records incorrectly matched to offenders in the sample, and to identify offenders for whom no rap sheet was found

Status: Complete

slide13

Virginia Criminal History Records

  • For much of this data (25,439 arrest records, or more than 2/3), the VCC offense code was missing (only statute or text description was available)
      • Staff researched cases and filled in VCC offense codes with the best available information
      • Having offense identifiers is helpful in the analysis phase
  • For 5,307 of the 36,025 arrest records, there was not a court disposition
      • Staff used other criminal justice databases to identify and fill in convictions wherever possible

Status: Complete

slide14

Out-of-State Criminal History Records

  • Sentencing Commission staff completed the necessary forms and procedures to request out-of-state criminal history records from the FBI
  • Request was reviewed by a FBI special board and approved
  • Sentencing Commission received out-of-state rap sheets in two forms: paper copies and PDF (image) files on disc
  • For the 15 states that do not participate in the FBI’s electronic rap sheet system, these records came on paper (532 rap sheets)
  • For the remaining states, the records came in PDF (image) files

Status: Complete

slide15

Out-of-State Criminal History Records

  • Since none of these records were in database format, staff examined the rap sheets
    • Needed information was recorded on a specially-designed data collection form
    • This information was then automated and added to existing databases
  • These records were used to supplement prior record, if necessary, as well as to identify recidivism activity

Status: Complete

slide16

Dates of Release from Incarceration

  • For offenders in the sample who received a prison sentence, staff requested and received data on release dates from the Department of Corrections
  • For offenders who received a jail sentence, staff analyzed the Local Inmate Data System (LIDS) to identify the appropriate date of release
  • For offenders who received a straight probation sentence, the release date was assumed to be the sentence date, unless the offender was still being held on other charges
  • Using these release dates, offenders were then tracked for recidivism activity

Status: Complete

slide17

Recidivism Measures

  • As with prior nonviolent offender risk assessment studies, the official measure of recidivism is a new felony conviction within 3 years
  • However, multiple measures of recidivism were collected
    • Any new arrest
    • New felony arrest
    • Any new conviction
    • New felony conviction

New conviction is measured as a new arrest within three years of release that ultimately resulted in a conviction

slide18

Analytical Approach

  • Two analysts work largely independently of one another using two different statistical techniques
    • Staff will discuss and reconcile differences in the two statistical models to develop an improved final model
  • Staff have developed preliminary models

Status: Ongoing

slide20

For the analysis, the sampled cases were weighted to reflect each subgroup’s actual proportion in the population

Composition of Sample after Cases Excluded Before Weighting

Composition of

Actual Population

After Weighting

offender characteristics demographics
Offender Characteristics – Demographics

Age

Sex

Race

Total = 1,662

Analysis is based on the sample weighted to reflect the population of offenders eligible for risk assessment

offender characteristics prior record
Offender Characteristics – Prior Record

Prior Person Felonies

Prior Property Felonies

Prior Drug

Felonies

Total = 1,662

Analysis is based on the sample weighted to reflect the population of offenders eligible for risk assessment

offender characteristics prior record24
Offender Characteristics – Prior Record

Prior Juvenile Record

Prior Incarcerations

Total = 1,662

Analysis is based on the sample weighted to reflect the population of offenders eligible for risk assessment

slide25

Criminal History Records

Offenders with Arrests/Charges Outside of Virginia

Offenders with Arrests/Charges in Virginia Only

Total = 1,662

slide26

Criminal History Records

More than half (302 of 558, or 54%) of the out-of-state records have been examined in detail to determine the specific states in which offenders have charges or arrests

1

1

1

5

17

1

2

2

16

1

4

4

10

3

2

2

15

3

1

1

Maryland 58

Wash DC 41

5

5

24

44

1

2

2

14

1

12

Federal 50

2

5

18

Alaska 1

type of disposition received
Type of Disposition Received

Median Sentence: 6 months

Median Sentence: 18 months

Total = 1,662

Analysis is based on the sample weighted to reflect the population of offenders eligible for risk assessment

three year recidivism rates
Three-Year Recidivism Rates

New conviction is measured as a new arrest within three years of release that ultimately resulted in a conviction

1,509 of the 1,662 offenders could be tracked for the full three years

Analysis is based on the sample weighted to reflect the population of offenders eligible for risk assessment

cumulative recidivism rate new felony conviction within three years by month of follow up
Cumulative Recidivism Rate (New Felony Conviction within Three Years)by Month of Follow-Up

Total = 1,509

Analysis is based on the sample weighted to reflect the population of offenders eligible for risk assessment

recidivism rate new felony conviction within three years by offense group
Recidivism Rate (New Felony Conviction within Three Years)by Offense Group

Total = 1,509

Analysis is based on the sample weighted to reflect the population of offenders eligible for risk assessment

recidivism rate new felony conviction within three years by juvenile record
Recidivism Rate (New Felony Conviction within Three Years)by Juvenile Record

Total = 1,509

Analysis is based on the sample weighted to reflect the population of offenders eligible for risk assessment

recidivism rates new felony conviction within three years by offender characteristics
Recidivism Rates (New Felony Conviction within Three Years)by Offender Characteristics

Age

Sex

Total = 1,509

Analysis is based on the sample weighted to reflect the population of offenders eligible for risk assessment

recidivism rate new felony conviction within three years
Recidivism Rate (New Felony Conviction within Three Years)

Recommendation of the Current

Risk Assessment Instrument (as scored)

Total = 1,509

Analysis is based on the sample weighted to reflect the population of offenders eligible for risk assessment

recidivism rate new felony conviction within three years34
Recidivism Rate (New Felony Conviction within Three Years)

Recommendation of the Current

Risk Assessment Instrument

For Offenders Who Received Points on

the Marital or Employment Factors

Total = 963

Analysis is based on the sample weighted to reflect the population of offenders eligible for risk assessment

scoring of employment record on current risk assessment instrument
Scoring of Employment Record on Current Risk Assessment Instrument
  • Staff identified offenders in the study for whom an automated Pre/Post-Sentence Investigation (PSI) record was available
  • Staff further analyzed offenders who did not receive points on the employment factor on the current risk assessment tool
      • The PSI revealed that nearly 36% of those offenders had not been regularly employed during the two years prior to arrest and, therefore, should have received points on the risk assessment instrument
new felony offenses committed by recidivists n 408
New Felony Offenses Committed by Recidivists (N=408)

Analysis is based on the sample weighted to reflect the population of offenders eligible for risk assessment

preliminary risk assessment model significant factors in assessing risk
Preliminary Risk Assessment Model:Significant Factors in Assessing Risk

Relative Degree of Importance

work plan
Work Plan
  • Staff will continue analysis and will present the final model to the Commission in November 2011
  • If the Commission approves the new instrument and recommends its adoption, it will be included in the 2011 Annual Report