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Exploring the Role of Responsivity and Assessment with Hispanic and American Indian Offenders

NCJ Number
238146
Date Published
Agencies
BJA-Sponsored
Publication Type
Report
Annotation
This report explores the role of cultural responsivity in risk and needs assessments conducted by community corrections agencies in Hispanic and American Indian communities.
Grant Number(s)
2007-MU-BX-K001
Abstract
This report contains three main sections: a description of assessment and cultural responsivity, a description of current practices in culturally responsive assessment, and detailed findings of research activities exploring whether culturally competent practices impacted the accuracy of risk and needs assessments in Hispanic and American Indian communities. Findings from a survey of 391 probation and parole departments and 28 focus groups made up of probation and parole officers, supervisors, and offenders include the following: a majority of surveyed departments used risk/needs assessment tools, with the most popular being LSI-R and CAIS; 60 percent of departments collect information on language preference and 65 percent provide some form of cultural competency and/or diversity training to employees; for both Hispanics and American Indians, pride in culture and heritage is a key component of their identities; language-appropriate services were particularly important issues for both groups; and cultural and legal differences can result in misunderstandings between officers and offenders. The primary focus of this report was to examine the role of cultural responsivity in risk and needs assessments conducted by community corrections agencies when dealing with Hispanic and American Indian offenders and their families. The findings indicate that risk and needs assessment tools used by probation and parole agencies can be valid predictors of risk for both Hispanic and American Indian offenders, and that reductions in recidivism can be seen when culturally competent practices are used by these departments. Recommendations for improving the effectiveness of risk and needs assessments are discussed. Tables, references, and appendixes
Date Created: December 26, 2019