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postgraduate thesis: Comparing risks & needs assessment policies and practices in Canada and Hong Kong

TitleComparing risks & needs assessment policies and practices in Canada and Hong Kong
Authors
Issue Date2012
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Chow, S. S. [周聖言]. (2012). Comparing risks & needs assessment policies and practices in Canada and Hong Kong. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b4833458
AbstractRisk and needs assessments are actuarial based instruments that aim to evaluate an (1) offender’s risks including the risk of reoffending, (2) criminogenic needs so they can be targeted in treatment and (3) offender responsivity inclusive of the learning style, motivation, abilities and strengths of the offender (Andrews, Bonta and Wormith, 2011, 735). Since 2006, looking to Western nations as exemplars, the HK Security Bureau’s policy initiatives have introduced a Risk and Needs Assessment Protocol for all local young offenders, and local adult offenders with sentences of two years and above. But one has to question how the policy transfer applies here in Hong Kong. What can Hong Kong’s criminal justice policy makers and practitioners adapt from research conducted in Canada and the United States? Is there anything HK officials can learn from other jurisdictions, both in terms of experiences implementing risk needs tools and the wider socio-cultural context under which such implementation takes place? This study has provided some preliminary answers to these questions through critical analysis and expert interviews. Subsequent analysis on the definition of risk and need under the HK CSD’s protocol outlined a further need for a definition of the responsivity principle. Concerns over the content of responsivity enhancement programs along with its effects on the voluntary participation of young offenders were also discussed in this analysis. Since the initial consultancy was commissioned by the CSD in 2002 to empirically develop and refine the protocol, a follow up study was much needed to suggest improvements. This study has served to fulfill this goal by suggesting improvements in addressing class, gender and racial disparity along with suggestions on operational excellence. Specifically, interviews with leading Canadian risk assessment experts including criminologists and practitioners highlighted four main challenges and three main lessons for HK CSD to examine (p. 57-58). Interviews with Hong Kong risk/needs assessment experts including criminologist and HK CSD practitioners help provide clarification on the risk/need assessment process and how rehabilitative programs operate. Additional analysis on the risk/need assessment instrument used in Hong Kong along with an examination of the questions used by assessors was subsequently conducted. The result challenges the CSD’s Risks and Needs Assessment and Management Protocol for Offenders as a “scientific and evidence based approach to prison management and offender rehabilitation” (CSD Booklet, 201, 3). This conclusion is based on the many social assumptions made on offenders found in the assessment tool and ambiguous design of questions used to evaluate criminogenic need.
DegreeMaster of Social Sciences
SubjectCriminals - Rehabilitation - China - Hong Kong.
Criminals - Rehabilitation - Canada.
Criminals - Risk assessment - China - Hong Kong.
Criminals - Risk assessment - Canada.
Dept/ProgramCriminology

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorChow, Shing-yin, Simon.-
dc.contributor.author周聖言.-
dc.date.issued2012-
dc.identifier.citationChow, S. S. [周聖言]. (2012). Comparing risks & needs assessment policies and practices in Canada and Hong Kong. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b4833458-
dc.description.abstractRisk and needs assessments are actuarial based instruments that aim to evaluate an (1) offender’s risks including the risk of reoffending, (2) criminogenic needs so they can be targeted in treatment and (3) offender responsivity inclusive of the learning style, motivation, abilities and strengths of the offender (Andrews, Bonta and Wormith, 2011, 735). Since 2006, looking to Western nations as exemplars, the HK Security Bureau’s policy initiatives have introduced a Risk and Needs Assessment Protocol for all local young offenders, and local adult offenders with sentences of two years and above. But one has to question how the policy transfer applies here in Hong Kong. What can Hong Kong’s criminal justice policy makers and practitioners adapt from research conducted in Canada and the United States? Is there anything HK officials can learn from other jurisdictions, both in terms of experiences implementing risk needs tools and the wider socio-cultural context under which such implementation takes place? This study has provided some preliminary answers to these questions through critical analysis and expert interviews. Subsequent analysis on the definition of risk and need under the HK CSD’s protocol outlined a further need for a definition of the responsivity principle. Concerns over the content of responsivity enhancement programs along with its effects on the voluntary participation of young offenders were also discussed in this analysis. Since the initial consultancy was commissioned by the CSD in 2002 to empirically develop and refine the protocol, a follow up study was much needed to suggest improvements. This study has served to fulfill this goal by suggesting improvements in addressing class, gender and racial disparity along with suggestions on operational excellence. Specifically, interviews with leading Canadian risk assessment experts including criminologists and practitioners highlighted four main challenges and three main lessons for HK CSD to examine (p. 57-58). Interviews with Hong Kong risk/needs assessment experts including criminologist and HK CSD practitioners help provide clarification on the risk/need assessment process and how rehabilitative programs operate. Additional analysis on the risk/need assessment instrument used in Hong Kong along with an examination of the questions used by assessors was subsequently conducted. The result challenges the CSD’s Risks and Needs Assessment and Management Protocol for Offenders as a “scientific and evidence based approach to prison management and offender rehabilitation” (CSD Booklet, 201, 3). This conclusion is based on the many social assumptions made on offenders found in the assessment tool and ambiguous design of questions used to evaluate criminogenic need.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.source.urihttp://hub.hku.hk/bib/B48334583-
dc.subject.lcshCriminals - Rehabilitation - China - Hong Kong.-
dc.subject.lcshCriminals - Rehabilitation - Canada.-
dc.subject.lcshCriminals - Risk assessment - China - Hong Kong.-
dc.subject.lcshCriminals - Risk assessment - Canada.-
dc.titleComparing risks & needs assessment policies and practices in Canada and Hong Kong-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb4833458-
dc.description.thesisnameMaster of Social Sciences-
dc.description.thesislevelMaster-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineCriminology-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b4833458-
dc.date.hkucongregation2012-

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