This comprehensive text explains all the key themes in the development and practice of offender rehabilitation. It explores how the issue fits within its wider social and political contexts, giving an insight into its current and future relevance to criminal justice. The book covers the full range of rehabilitative approaches, exploring how criminal justice responses have been influenced by trends such as the treatment model, ‘What Works?’, desistance, risk and public protection, and changes in social policy.
Chapter Six: Assessing Offenders: Risks, Needs, Responsivity and Strengths
Assessing Offenders: Risks, Needs, Responsivity and Strengths
The assessment of offenders has long been appreciated as an essential function for those who work with offenders (Bonta, 1996). Before rehabilitative interventions can begin, it is necessary to make decisions about the type of intervention(s) relevant to and most likely to benefit the individual offender. As Hazel Kemshall has succinctly explained, assessment is a key part of the rehabilitative process because ‘Not only does it frame problems, it defines their solutions’ (1998: 173). Assessment then can be understood as a process which serves to classify the offender in relation to particular variables, setting out what the relevant issues or problems are in the case, and this serves as a starting point ...