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A Person-centered Approach to Risk and Need Classification in Drug Court

NCJ Number
Justice Quarterly Volume: 35 Issue: 2 Dated: 2018 Pages: 356-379
Date Published
24 pages

In this study, a sample of 265 New York City drug court participants completed the Level of Service InventoryRevised (LSI-R) and Texas Christian University Drug Screen II (TCUDS).


Three participant clusters were identified through a person-centered analysis of their LSI-R and TCUDS responses: low risk (LR), criminogenic risk (CR), and complex behavioral health needs (CBHN). Although CBHN scored higher than CR and LR on the LSI-R and TCUDS, they were no more likely to be re-arrested at 24 months and no higher in their rate of positive drug tests. The CR cluster predicted re-arrest beyond the LSI-R and rate of positive drug tests beyond the LSI-R and TCUDS. CBHN participants placed in a residential (vs. non-residential) setting were disproportionately likely to be re-arrested. Results point to a sub-population of drug court participants who were not captured in variable-centered summary risk scores, but who might require intensive case management or referral to suitable treatment. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2018