|Sole Source Only Justification:||The foundation of good programmatic correctional practices is the administration of a validated risk, assets and needs assessment tool. Risk assessment instruments measure the probability that someone will reoffend based on actuarial (statistical) information. Needs assessments identify the criminogenic needs (ie-the factors linked to criminal behavior) and provide the basis for how supervision, programming and interventions should be structured. Assets assessments recognize an offender’s qualities that research has demonstrated will decrease the likelihood that they will re-offend and increase the likelihood that they will successfully reintegrate into the community. Objective, research-based information has resulted in improved decision-making throughout the criminal justice system, leading to reductions in recidivism and increased public safety. |
Based on this premise the Illinois Crime Reduction Act of 2009 was passed requiring in part:730 ILCS (730 ILCS 190 sections 10 and 15) Sec.10 c.1.A (A) Provide for the use and development of a case plan based on the risks, assets, and needs identified through the assessment tool as described in this Act. The case plan should be used to determine in-prison programming; should be continuously updated based on program participation by the prisoner and other behavior modification exhibited by the prisoner; and should be used when creating the case plan described in subsection (b). Sec. 15. Adoption, validation, and utilization of an assessment tool. (a) Purpose. In order to determine appropriate punishment or services which will protect public safety it is necessary for State Agencies to adopt a common assessment tool (in this case the Orbis tool is currently being used by IDOC, IDJJ and PRB). Supervision and correctional programs are most effective at reducing future crime when they accurately assess offender risks, assets and needs and use these assessment results to assign supervision levels and target programs to criminogenic needs.
The Illinois Department of Corrections (DOC) needs an assessment tool that measures risk to recidivism using criminogenic factors that are known to impact recividism. These factors are different for men and women; therefore we need a unique tool for the male and female populations. DOC’s offender population has different and individualized characteristics that must be understood in order to preserve public safety and provide effective treatment. An effective assessment of offenders’ strengths, risks, and needs will allow development of individualized case management plans. The assessment instrument is utilized at different points in the system from the point of intake to DOC, reassessment throughout incarceration, at the Prisoner Review Board, and while on parole. The tool and related case planning tool from Orbis allows us to track progress and give a delta report with each new assessment. The reports provided by Orbis are clear and concise and help decision makers with the correctional center and members of the Prisoner Review Board to understand the individual offender's progress toward successful reentry, allowing for individualized release plans instead of cookie cutter plans that cost taxpayer dollars and do not yield positive results.
The drafters of the Crime Reduction Act went beyond just requiring an assessment and also required a case plan to address the identified risk. These plans must be used and updated throughout incarceration and while the offender is under mandatory supervisory release (Parole). The plans will guide the use of best practice interventions and use of evidence-based treatment. They will both support offender strengths and address weaknesses with the goal of each offender taking responsibility for their reentry planning. In order to be efficient, DOC seeks to have case planning software that is integrated with the assessment tool. This way as the assessment results shift the case plan can be amended to reflect progress or new areas for goal setting.
As part of this sole source justification work, we did internet research related to current risk to recidivism tools, and we found a study published by the Council of State Governments titled " Risk Assessment Instruments Validated and Implemented in Correctional Settings in the United States". The study was published in March, 2013. We found no other study more current. This study looked at 19 assessments and found only two that included assets as part of the assessment (assets or protective factors are required in the Crime Reduction Act of 2009) The two tools were SPIn-W and IORNS. Further research shows that the IORNS tool is only a risk assessment and does not include a case planning module. Since 2013, the SPIn tool has been validated in the Illinois corrections setting. Thereby making the SPIn and SPIn-W the only assessments and case planning tools that fully meet the requirements of the law. The IORNS tool is published by Hogrefe, and this vendor did not respond to our solicitation in 2012. The COMPAS tool by NorthPointe does have an integrated case planning tool, but does not specifically assess offenders' assets. NorthPointe was the only other qualified vendor in the 2012 solicitation.
Based upon the above research and the fact that Orbis is the current vendor for these services it is mission critical for IDOC to continue using this same assessment tool while a new contract is procured.