Juvenile Probation Research in Nebraska: Evaluating the Reliability of Risk Assessment Tools and Recidivism Rates for Youth in the Juvenile Justice System

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionPDF versionPDF version

Juvenile Probation Research in Nebraska: Evaluating the Reliability of Risk Assessment Tools and Recidivism Rates for Youth in the Juvenile Justice System

Friday, September 21, 2018 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

This webinar has been approved for 1.0 hours of MCLE credit.

Click here to watch the recorded webinar on our YouTube Channel.


This presentation will examine how Nebraska Juvenile Probation applies the Risk-Need-Responsivity (RNR) model which promotes recidivism reduction for youth on probation through tailoring individual plans focused on criminogenic need. The first study of 6,158 juvenile probationers tests the predictive validity if the Youth Level of Service/Case Management Inventory (YLS/CMI) as Nebraska Probation officers use it to measure risk and need among the youth it serves.  The study shows the instrument performs well without ethnicity, race, or gender biases.  The second study measures the rate of recidivism of youth who have successfully (and unsuccessfully) finished probation with a sample of 14,116 youth discharged between 2010 through 2015 using the Nebraska Supreme Court definition of recidivism.  The study shows the recidivism rate is low and stable, in fact it slightly decreases across the years in the study.  The presentation ends with an outline of “take home” points from the study and some general recommendations from the RNR model.

  Rich Wiener received his Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Houston. He studied law at the University of Nebraska/Lincoln (UNL) College of Law where he earned a Master’s Degree in Legal Studies.   He is currently the Charles Bessey Professor of Psychology and Law at UNL and for 13 years he served at the director of the Law and Psychology Program.  Dr. Wiener is the past editor of Law and Human Behavior, the official journal of the American Psychology/Law Society (Division 41 of the American Psychological Association) and he currently serves as the Secretary/Treasurer for the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues.  Rich has also served SPSSI as a council member, chair of the Court Watch committee and as a member of other committees including the membership and fellows committees. He has served as a research consultant for the National Center for Juvenile and Family Court Judges, the Nebraska Judiciary, the Nebraska Office of Probation Administration, the Nebraska Crime Commission, and for the Nebraska Parole Board. Wiener studies the application of social and cognitive psychology to problems of legal decision-making. He currently conducts and supervises applied research in the areas of legal decision making, policy and social science, discrimination, and program evaluation. He is the recipient of multiple funding awards from the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Justice. Dr. Wiener has published numerous peer reviewed journal articles, edited volumes, book chapters and law review articles.  Professor Wiener teaches courses at the graduate level and in the Law College at UNL.