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Essex Probation

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Quick Reference

Risk Assessment

Knowing the risks that someone poses is vital in the successful management of an offender. A fundamental tool in our work, our assessments will determine both the risk of harm and the risk of reoffending posed by each individual.

Skills and a range of assessment tools

A combination of good communication skills, experience and a range of electronic assessment tools are brought to bear on this important piece of work. OGRS (the Offender Group Reconviction Scale) is useful in predicting the likelihood of reoffending. Based on previous offending patterns, it offers extra statistical guidance to Probation staff.

Who does the initial assessment?

Our colleagues in the National Probation Service will, from June 1st 2014, do the initial risk assessments before passing to the CRC for offender management, depending on the areas and nature of risk. Risk is a dynamic factor – it can change during supervision. CRC staff will continue careful oversight of all the risk issues and collaborate with their NPS colleagues to ensure that management of risk is appropriate and sited with the correct organisation.

Computer scoring

OASys (the Offender Assessment System) offers a computer scoring of the factors most likely to have strong influences on an offender’s behaviour (called criminogenic factors) including:

  • Accommodation,
  • Education, Training and Employability,
  • Financial Management and income,
  • Relationships,
  • Lifestyle and Associates,
  • Drug misuse,
  • Alcohol misuse,
  • Emotional well-being,
  • Thinking and Behaviour, and
  • Attitudes

Each case presents a variety of risk factors which lead to offending. Additional factors may be raised during the assessment process. These could trigger other assessments:

  • Sex Offender assessment
  • Violent Offender assessment
  • Drug Assessment
  • Alcohol assessment
  • Mental health assessment
  • Basic Skills assessment
  • Dangerous and Severe Personality Disorder assessment
  • Domestic Violence assessment

Risk of serious harm : to the public, to known adults, to staff, to prisoners, to children, to the offender, as well as other risks to do with control issues, is also well-covered in OASys, which provides a screening section, a full analysis section and a summary of harm section, with a harm management plan.