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Risk-Needs Responsivity: Turning Principles Into Practice for Tribal Probation Personnel

NCJ Number
Kimberly A. Cobb; Mary Ann Mowatt; Tracy Mullins
Date Published
August 2013
17 pages
After a brief introduction to the risk, need, and responsivity (RNR) principles espoused in the evidence-based principles for community supervision, this paper guides tribal probation officers in incorporating into practice the premise underlying each principle.
The RNR model developed by Andrews and Bonta (2007) provides guidance on how screening and assessment instruments should be used to identify and respond to the individual risk and needs of those on community supervision. The risk principle states that the level supervision and services provided to a defendant or probationer should match that individual's risk of reoffending. Conducting risk screening and assessment quantifies the risk level for each individual on community supervision, so that caseloads/workloads can be prioritized and managed more effectively while ensuring that community resources are used appropriately. The need principle states that services and interventions should focus on the identified criminogenic needs of each person being supervised. The need principle guides decisionmakers in determining what interventions and services should be provided while an offender is under supervision. The responsivity principle states that once risk and needs are identified, individuals should be matched to services and interventions based on the offender's distinctive characteristics. Many tribal probation officers are responsible for supervising large caseloads of individuals. In order to ensure that RNR principles are applied to each individual in a caseload, tribal probation officers must be trained in the theory and practice of RNR principles and the procedures for applying them in their work. The importance of applying RNR principles in case management practices should be reflected in officer performance assessments. 8 references

Date Published: August 1, 2013