The research project aims to study the Norwegian police's development and use of assessment tools to identify young people at risk of offending, and to prioritize who efforts should be directed at.
Crime prevention have been characterized by being derived from "craft theories" based on practical and experimental learning. Previous research has shown that assessments of offenders' risks and needs related to recidivism are often made on the basis of informal and unsystematic procedures, which in turn can lead to bias and inconsistent processes.
Thus, an argument has been that decision-making will be improved by using standardized risk and needs assessment tools. Such an approach has been used particularly preventative in criminal justice treatment of persons who have committed criminal acts, but since risk factors are "known", preventive and preemptive interventions can also be implemented on the basis of them.
Through a case-based approach, I will examine the interplay between standardized assessment tools and professional discretion in crime prevention work among children and young people. A survey is planned to measure attitudes towards knowledge-based practice, risk factors and the usefulness of assessment tools. In addition, individual interviews and observations on the discretionary assessments on the basis of, or in addition to, the structured assessment will be conducted.