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Washington State Institute for Public Policy
November 1998
This report describes the results of an interim validation study. In collaboration with juvenile court professionals, the Institute developed a comprehensive risk assessment, the Washington State Juvenile Court Assessment (WSJCA), as specified in the 1997 Community Juvenile Accountability Act. For the courts to have confidence in the WSJCA, the risk level classification from the pre-screen needed to be validated for juvenile offenders in Washington State. Validating the pre-screen means determining how well it predicts recidivism rates for groups of youth. Adequately measuring recidivism requires selecting a representative cohort of youth rated on the assessment, and then waiting 2 1/2 years to measure their recidivism.
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