Field Reliability of the SAVRY with Juvenile Probation Officers: Implications for Training

Juvenile Specialty Court

Field Reliability of the SAVRY with Juvenile Probation Officers: Implications for Training

April 27, 2011

This study determined that juvenile probation officers can be trained to conduct a structured professional judgment risk assessment tool (SAVRY) with good to excellent reliability

Two complimentary studies were conducted to investigate the inter-rater reliability and performance of juvenile justice personnel when conducting the Structured Assessment of Violence Risk for Youth (SAVRY). Study 1 reports the performance on four standardized vignettes of 408 juvenile probation officers (JPOs) and social workers rating the SAVRY as part of their training. JPOs had high agreement with the expert consensus on the SAVRY rating of overall risk and total scores, but those trained by a peer master trainer outperformed those trained by an expert. Study 2 examined the field reliability of the SAVRY on 80 young offender cases rated by a JPO and a trained research assistant. In the field, intra-class correlation coefficients were ‘excellent’ for SAVRY total and most domain scores, and were ‘good’ for overall risk ratings. Results suggest
that the SAVRY and structured professional judgment can be used reliably in the field by juvenile justice personnel and is comparable to reliability indices reported in more lab-like research studies; however, replication is essential.

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Peer-reviewed article
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