Chapter

Risk in practice: systems and practitioner judgement

Kerry Baker

in Young people and 'risk'

Published by Policy Press

Published in print September 2007 | ISBN: 9781847420008
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447304364 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847420008.003.0003
Risk in practice: systems and practitioner judgement

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This chapter explores how practitioners in the criminal justice agencies create complex decisions concerning risk within the current highly charged climate of media and political concern about public protection. The aim of this chapter is not to look simply at the questions of procedure, but to develop a richer and deeper discussion on how practitioners make difficult judgements regarding risk. In this chapter, risk refers to the risk of harm that a young person may present to others although many of the issues would also be relevant to discussion of assessments of vulnerability or risk of self-harm and suicide. In this chapter, the focus is on the knowledge and the thinking processes of practitioners in making judgements about risk in relation to young offenders. In particular, the chapter examines how practitioners collect and analyse information on young offenders. It examines the assessment and prediction tools used by the practitioners in predicting offending behaviour and the risk/need assessment including the Asset and the Offender Assessment System (OASys) employed by the practitioners. The chapter also presents data from the Asset Risk of Serious Harm (ROSH) forms completed by practitioners from a national sample of Youth Offending Teams (YOTs).

Keywords: criminal justice agencies; public protection; risk; assessment tools; prediction tools; risk/need assessment; Offender Assessment System; Asset

Chapter.  6200 words. 

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