Predicting individual differences in future violence among juvenile offenders
Date of this Version
Screening tools in forensic and mental health settings are utilised to assess individual differences in risk for future violence. The Child and Youth Forensic Outreach Service Violence Screening Tool (CYFOS VST) was developed for use with juveniles referred to mental health and juvenile justice settings. The reliability and validity of the VST was evaluated based on 222 consecutive referrals to a Youth Justice Service in South East Queensland. Data on future violence was obtained from official Youth Justice Service records as well as case workers recorded observations of youth violence. The VST was found to have adequate inter-rater and test-retest reliability. Importantly, the VST significantly predicted future violence over a twelve month period. The VST has the potential to assist in differentiating individuals according to violence risk with implications for case planning and interventions.