Purpose. The goal of the present research was to develop a screening measure to assist in identifying offenders at risk for drop-out or expulsion from correctional programmes.
Methods. Non-Aboriginal male offenders (N = 5,247) were randomly divided into a development sample (N = 2,617) and a validation sample (N = 2,630). In the development sample, individual predictors were identified through univariate and multivariate analyses, weighted based on their relationship with drop-out/expulsion, and combined into a composite measure we called the drop-out risk screen (DRS).
Results. The DRS consists of five items, including static and dynamic risk factors for recidivism as well as motivation for intervention. It significantly predicted drop-out/expulsion in the development sample (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve [AUC]= .72) and performed similarly in the validation sample (AUC = .70).
Conclusions. The results indicate that the DRS is a valid screening instrument for risk of drop-out/expulsion. Prior to commencement of a treatment programme, offenders with high scores on the DRS could be more thoroughly assessed and, if necessary, targeted with pre-treatment efforts to increase their motivation and general readiness for treatment.