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Progressing policy toward a risk/need informed sanctioning model

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Criminology & Public Policy

Published online on

Abstract

["\n\nResearch Summary\nThis study examined whether risk/need assessment results coincided with the placement of defendants into six types of sanctions among convicted adults from 11 counties in one state. Crosstabulations highlighted that individuals’ risk/need levels corresponded to the placement of low‐risk/need individuals to probation and high‐risk/need individuals to prison; however, intermediate sanctions were rarely used for any risk/need level and some low‐ and moderate‐risk/need individuals were sentenced to prison when convicted of offenses that do not typically result in incarceration.\n\n\nPolicy Implications\nThe results suggest that courts should adopt an evidence‐informed sanctioning model by using risk/need assessments to inform sentencing decisions. Further, states should utilize intermediate sanctions more often to divert individuals convicted of less serious offenses from prison. Finally, judges should avoid sentencing low‐risk/need individuals to prison whenever possible. These changes could help courts to better match individuals’ risk/need level to sanctions.\n\n", "Criminology & Public Policy, EarlyView. "]