This paper provides a picture of risk assessment tools used in EU Member States both in the prison and security contexts. It focuses on existing instruments, their content and how they are used at the moment. The goals of such assessment and the challenges for the future in this field are also mentioned. The paper is divided into two different parts.
The first one reflects aims, benefits, limitations and general functioning of risk assessment, with special mention of the objectives in the prison setting. The second one reviews the most commonly used tools in Europe and how much support they have from scientific studies. How instruments are currently implemented, their main characteristics and the main differences amongst them are discussed. Finally, validation of tools, best practices and the need for further research is summarised.
Main outcomes are related to the need for further validation and agreement on common terminology, the clarification of goals, and the necessary link between disengagement interventions and the evaluation of risk and criminogenic needs. Furthermore, sharing good practices amongst EU Member States seems paramount in order to shed some light on the issue. Read more