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Operationalizing Risk, Need, and Responsivity Principles in Local Policy: Lessons From Five County Juvenile Probation Departments

NCJ Number
Prison Journal Volume: 100 Issue: 1 Dated: 2020 Pages: 49-73
Date Published
25 pages

This study examined the implementation of the principles of risk, need, and response (RNR) in local policy in five Pennsylvania county juvenile probation departments. 


“Core” RNR policies focused on officers’ assessment; decision-making about client services and supervision; engagement with system stakeholders; and intervention with clients. “Supporting” policies focused on competency development; management and supervision; and performance measurement. Policy variations highlighted innovations and dilemmas in implementing RNRP. Dilemmas included the extent to which officers are cast as change agents; how needs are prioritized; how risk and needs are tied to decisions; and how officers advocate about assessment results with system stakeholders. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2020