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Positive Achievment Change Tool Pre-Screen
PACT Validation Dissertation Summary by Dr. Michael Baglivio
Florida's Department of Juvenile Justice, PACT Profile Statistics
How to read the PACT Overview and YES Case Plan Reports v2.pdf
PACT Pre-Validation Report_2006.pdf
PACT cover story in NCJFCJ's Juvenile and Family Justice Today, Winter 2007
The PACT (Positive Achievement Change Tool) Pre-Screen is a 46-item, multiple choice initial assessment instrument, which produces research-validated risk level scores measuring a juvenile's risk of re-offending. This tool is designed as a semi-structured interview protocol.
It was created collaboratively in 2005 by Assessments.com and the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. It is heavily adapted from the Washington State Juvenile Court Assessment, Back on Track! (also known as YASITM in some jurisdictions), which has been in use throughout the country since 1998. It incorporates evidence-based practices including the technique of Motivational Interviewing, and includes a number of new efficiencies identified by Florida’s DJJ to free-up valuable time for the JPOs.
One such efficiency is the PACT's use of mental health concepts that are measured by many other mental health screening tools, but with less effort. This led Florida's DJJ, after extensive review by their Office of Research and Planning and Florida's Justice Research Center, to discontinue use of the MAYSI-2 (Massachusetts Youth Screening Instrument) and rely instead on the PACT to predicatively determine whether there is a need for further mental health, or suicide assessments.
As implemented in Florida, the PACT Pre-Screen is administered to all youth referred for delinquency who are delivered to one of the state’s juvenile assessment centers, detention centers or police booking units. The pre-screen is pre-populated with any information housed in Florida’s Juvenile Justice Information System, including any prior criminal history. This allows the JPO to spend time on the meaningful attitude/behavior questions where he or she can serve as an Agent of Change through non-judgmental information gathering and reflective listening.
The PACT identifies not only the areas (domains) in which the juvenile is most at risk, but just as importantly, those in which he or she has strengths (protective factors) which can be built upon to help turn the youth’s life around. Risk and protective factors in this instrument include both static and dynamic characteristics.
With automated scoring, the PACT Pre-Screen identifies a risk level for each youth assessed. Low-risk youth are generally recommended for diversion or other community-based intervention programs and isolated from any contagion effects caused by higher-risk youth or separation from the protective factors present in their lives. Moderate-risk youth are generally directed to intervention programs and other community-based interventions. Moderate-high and high-risk youth will receive the PACT Full Assessment.
This comprehensive initial assessment instrument measures a youth's risk and protective factors in the following four domains: Criminal History, Social History, Mental Health and Attitudes/Behaviors. Assessment of criminogenic risk factors and treatment directed toward changing dynamic characteristics provides the best chance of reducing recidivism.
The PACT may be used by non-clinical staff in juvenile intake, diversion, probation, detention, group home placement, and aftercare settings. The instrument is administered in a client interview setting and requires approximately 25 minutes. As implemented in Florida, the PACT also interfaces seamlessly with an automated case-planning functionality. To be used effectively, the PACT needs to be administered by a person who has received at least two days of training on risk assessment theory, case planning and the technique of motivational interviewing.
Notes: by Robert Barnoski, Ph.D. / software developed by Allvest Information Services, Inc.