As the number of women in prisons and jails increases in the U.S., correctional agencies are modifying their strategies to better meet the needs of female offenders and also address the impacts their imprisonment is having on children and families. COMPAS Women provides a gender-responsive, culturally sensitive assessment approach tailored to the risks and needs of women in order to help case managers make more appropriate treatment, supervision and reentry decisions.
In collaboration with Dr. Pat Van Voorhis and the University of Cincinnati, Northpointe has developed an automated risk and needs assessment specifically for women offenders. Comprehensive in its coverage of risk and needs factors, it is designed to take advantage of the most recent research on characteristics most strongly linked to behavior in women. These factors include economic marginalization, trauma, victimization and abuse, mental health, dysfunctional intimate relationships, self-efficacy and parental stress.
COMPAS Women has been designed to be easy to use and efficient for those who work in busy agencies with high caseloads. As with the other COMPAS titles, the length of the Women’s assessment can be adjusted by agency staff to fit their workload and intervention/explanatory needs by selecting various scale combinations. Any combination of COMPAS Women scales may be selected in combination with any risk and gender neutral needs scales in COMPAS Core or COMPAS Reentry. As with the other COMPAS titles, a computer generated graphic report is generated to pinpoint overall risk and critical problem areas of each woman offender and to provide decision support for case planning, treatment, supervision and placement decisions.
Northpointe’s research staff has developed specific “typology” classifications for women offenders. These typologies are described in the software and the COMPAS Women’s assessment assigns offenders to their nearest prototype. Mainly explanatory and for treatment planning - the report assists in recognizing frequently recurring female case-types. As with ALL COMPAS titles, a narrative report is also generated highlighting the offender’s assessed risk, current offense, criminal history and assessed needs explanation and treatment implications for use by other case management stakeholders.
COMPAS Women includes an integrated case planning module that provides a template that automatically populates the female offender’s assessed needs results. Easy to use drop downs of “user configured” goals, tasks and activities tied to each need allows the user to build a custom case plan for each offender and update the plan over time. The case plan also allows for the tracking of individual task referral, start and termination dates, termination reasons, service providers and other case outcomes.