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Are there risks with risk assessment? A study of the predictive accuracy of the youth level of service–case management inventory with young offenders in Scotland

Vaswani, Nina and Merone, Lisa (2013) Are there risks with risk assessment? A study of the predictive accuracy of the youth level of service–case management inventory with young offenders in Scotland. British Journal of Social Work. ISSN 0045-3102

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Abstract

The study examined the predictive validity of the Youth Level of Service–Case Management Inventory (YLS–CMI), using data from 1,138 tests conducted over two years in the social work department of a large urban local authority in Scotland. The study was the first large-scale examination of the use of the YLS–CMI in Scotland. Receiver Operating Characteristics and Survival analyses found the YLS–CMI to be a significant predictor of general and serious violent recidivism among young people aged under eighteen, and for males and females. The YLS–CMI did not predict recidivism among young people aged over eighteen. The use of the professional override reduced the predictive power of the YLS–CMI across all groups in the sample. The findings indicate that the YLS–CMI has population validity in Scotland and remains significantly accurate under typical social work practice conditions, but further research is required as to how and when social work practitioners should use the professional override facility.