What are several common elements or characteristics of risk assessments in the juvenile justice system?
A risk assessment is generally done to determine whether a juvenile offender should be put into custody or should be released. Therefore, the elements that are considered in such an assessment are those that bear on whether the juvenile might be a danger if released.
When doing a risk assessment, the staff member will look at things such as the nature of the offense, the offender's arrest history, and his or her probation status. The staff member will also consider things like the juvenile's home situation. Is a parent immediately available to take responsibility for the minor? Does the minor have a job? Is he or she doing fairly well in school? All of these things will help to predict whether the juvenile is a good risk to be released or if releasing the juvenile will be dangerous for the community or for the juvenile him or her self.