Plenary: National Guidelines on Post-Conviction Risk Assessment


Tuesday, January 24, 2023
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Session Type: General

The US does not follow a coherent set of guidelines on the development and use of risk and needs assessment and most states and counties have not tested their tools for accuracy and fairness across race, ethnicity, and gender. Many jurisdictions do a poor job at being transparent about what the instrument was designed to do and do not have a clear plan to effectively communicate about the tools and how they are being used to system stakeholders and those directly impacted by their use. With support from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the CSG Justice Center developed an advisory group of 28 national experts in the field to create a set of 13 specific guidelines and a suite of practical materials that are aimed at different audiences, including criminal justice practitioners and leaders and legislators. This workshop will focus on the aspects of the Guidelines that are directly relevant to officers in the field and explain how utilizing the Guidelines can improve the use of risk and needs assessment for decision-making.


David D'Amora
Senior Policy Advisor, Council of State Governments

David A. D’Amora, MS, LPC, CCFC is a senior policy advisor at the CSG Justice Center, is a licensed clinician with 45 years’ experience working in the areas of risk and needs assessment, violent offenders, and offenders with mental illness and has provided technical assistance and consultation to 49 states. At the CSG Justice Center he has co-authored Adults with Behavioral Health Needs under Correctional Supervision: A Shared Framework for Reducing Recidivism and Promoting Recovery (New York: The Council of State Governments Justice Center, 2012) and most recently A Five-Level Risk and Needs System: Maximizing Assessment Results in Corrections through the Development of a Common Language (New York: The Council of State Governments Justice Center, 2016). Prior to joining the CSG Justice Center, Mr. D’Amora served as the vice president of agency programs for a community-based agency providing multiple types of correctional and behavioral health treatment to formerly incarcerated people under community supervision. He was also a clinician at Somers State Prison and Meriden-Wallingford Hospital in Connecticut as well as a consultant with another national criminal justice technical assistance provider.

Lahiz Tavarez
Policy Analyst, Council of State Governments

Lahiz Tavárez, MA is a Senior Policy Analyst at the CSG Justice Center. She works on projects centered on risk and needs assessment communication and implementation guidance. In previous roles at the CSG Justice Center, Ms. Tavárez developed networks of community services for people returning to the community after incarceration, provided technical assistance to recipients of Second Chance Act grants, supported projects centered on improving risk communication in corrections and reentry of people convicted of sexual offenses, and worked to expand the Reentry Services Directory. Prior to joining the CSG Justice Center, she interned at the New York State Assembly as a legislative assistant, as well as with Albany County’s Crime Victim and Sexual Violence Center (CVSVC), acting as a victim advocate at Albany Criminal Court on behalf of CVSVC, and at SUNY Albany’s University Police Department (UAPD), also participating in UAPD’s Advisory Committee.