This paper critiques the journal article “Risk and risk management in juvenile justice” by looking at its contribution to the topic, how poor professionalism and ethical issues surrounding risk assessment of juveniles may lead to unethical sentencing and punishment of juveniles, the research questions, and the methodologies used among other aspects. Risk assessment involves the identification and evaluation of risk factors as well as protective aspects, which influence how often an individual gets involved in crime (Hanson & Morton-Bourgon, 2009). The factors include age, gender, prior criminal records, family support, and use of psychoactive substances (Mulvey & Iselin, 2008; Slobogin, 2013). Professionalism and ethics in risk assessment and management have a significant influence on how juveniles are unethically sentenced and punished.
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The journal article explains the methods used to assess and manage juvenile delinquency-related risks. The risk assessment techniques discussed in the article include actuarial assessment, unstructured clinical assessment, and structured professional judgment. The article makes a precise and individualized prediction concerning the issue of risk assessment and evaluation using risk factors obtained from similar validation samples, more significant variables, and recidivism information about the relevant measurable outcomes. The article also argues that risk assessment instruments in juvenile delinquency are characterized by several normative and constitutional issues due to their reliance on comparatively fixed personal characteristics and demographic variables (Slobogin, 2013).
The main scope of the study was to find the various types of risk assessment in juvenile justice and their effectiveness. The article outlines the main risk assessment protocols and brings to light their accuracy. Some of the risk assessment criteria outlined in the article are unstructured clinical judgment, structured professional assessment, and actuarial risk evaluation. The article also unveils the best scenarios for each assessment instrument (Slobogin, 2013).
The journal article relies on literature review as the main source of data collection. Through the methodology, the article is able to identify the pros and cons of each risk assessment technique. For instance, it is difficult to make predictions with the unstructured clinical assessment technique. In the case of structured clinical judgment, it is difficult to achieve consistency as the influential variables in the assessment may be different for each evaluator. The actuarial risk assessment also has a few drawbacks; for instance, it does not provide a distinct definition of the risk factors being measured.
Slobogin (2013) concludes that it is difficult to assess and manage the risks of re-offending among juveniles since each risk assessment technique has its shortcomings. For instance, unstructured clinical judgment is one of the techniques that do not give precise predictions of the risk factors being measured. However, risk assessment and management can be done using structured clinical judgment and actuarial risk assessment. For better results, the article proposes the use of adjusted actuarial risk assessment and structured professional judgment (Slobogin, 2013).
The article makes a great contribution to the current literature through the findings obtained from the literature review. For instance, it explains the most important types of risk assessment, including structured clinical judgment and actuarial risk assessment, and also unveils their accuracy. In addition, the study gives the reasons explaining why risk assessment in juvenile justice is most complicated. To avoid this intricacy, the article suggests the use of structured professional judgment and adjusted actuarial risk assessment (Yang, Wong, & Coid, 2010).
The research methodology employed in the study is extremely effective. By conducting an extensive literature review, the researcher was able to identify the weaknesses of every assessment technique; he was also able to find out how unstructured clinical judgment can lead to wrongful sentencing of juveniles. The findings of the study are reliable since the research has supported every finding with relevant literature (Mayers & Schmidt, 2008).
Although the article does not have definite research questions, the aim of the study is brought out. According to Slobogin (2013), the study aimed to establish the various instruments that can be used in assessing risks of re-offending among juveniles and bring to light the ethical issues surrounding the applicable risk assessment instruments (Schwalbe, 2007). The author was able to achieve the objective of the study by conducting a thorough literature review.
The study offers a concrete summary of all the items outlined in the body of the journal article. The conclusion sums up the most commonly used risk assessment instruments and provides a synopsis of other important concepts, including the ethical issues and other aspects concerning risk assessment and management in juvenile justice.
The journal article “Risk and risk management in juvenile justice” is well written and covers the topic in a comprehensive manner. Its content is divided into clear sections to improve its readability and the author employs literature review as the main research methodology. The research methodology is highly effective as it enables the author to obtain information that is credible enough to realize conclusive findings. The journal article also makes a significant contribution to the current literature by unveiling various ethical issues and other aspects, which affect the juvenile justice system.
Hanson, R. K., & Morton-Bourgon, K. E. (2009). The accuracy of recidivism risk assessment for sexual offenders: A meta-analysis of 118 prediction studies. Psychological Assessment, 21(1), 1-21.
Mayers, J. R., & Schmidt, F. (2008). Predictive validity of the structured assessment for violence in youth (SAVRY) with juvenile offenders. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 35(3), 344-355.
Mulvey, E. P., & Iselin, A. R. (2008). Improving professional judgments of risk and amenability in juvenile justice. Future Child, 18(2), 35-57.
Schwalbe, C. S. (2007). Risk assessment for juvenile justice. Law and Human Behavior, 31(5), 449-462.
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Slobogin, C. (2013). Risk assessment and risk management in juvenile justice. Criminal Justice, 27(4), 1-10.
Yang, M., Wong, S. C. O., & Coid, J. (2010). The efficacy of violence prediction: A meter-analytic comparison of nine risk assessment tools. Psychological Bulletin, 136(5), 740-767.