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Examining the Validity of the Structured Assessment of Violence Risk in Youth (SAVRY) for Predicting Probation Outcomes Among Adjudicated Juvenile Offenders


  • Preparation of this manuscript was supported by Grant 11-98149-000-USP funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The authors are grateful for their support. However, the research results reported and the views expressed in the paper do not necessarily imply any policy or research endorsement by our funding agency. We would also like to thank Gina Vincent, Jeff Rosky, and the Jefferson Parish Department of Juvenile Services for their consultation and dedication to this project.

Correspondence to: Kristina K. Childs, Department of Criminal Justice, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL 32816, U.S.A. E-mail:


The current study examined the ability of the Structured Assessment of Violence Risk for Youth (SAVRY), a standardized risk assessment instrument, to predict probation outcomes among a sample of 158 adjudicated juvenile offenders placed on probation. Traditionally, the SAVRY has been used to measure violence risk among adolescents after release from custody. More recently, a delinquency risk measure based on SAVRY responses was developed, which could be useful for other types of outcome. This study examined the predictive validity of both summary risk ratings (SRR) for probation outcomes, including the reason for terminating probation and length of time on probation. A number of bivariate analyses and Cox regression models provided preliminary support for the ability of the nonviolent delinquency SRR, and modest support for the violence SRR, to predict probation outcomes. The implications for use of the SAVRY SRRs during juvenile justice system decision-making and recommendations for future research are discussed. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.