Cross-validation of the El Paso Risk Assessment of Juveniles at Intake Scale (El Paso RAJI)

Dilata Ranadive, University of Texas at El Paso


No published risk assessment instrument is designed for the specific purpose of identifying high risk first-time juvenile offenders at their first contact with the juvenile justice system. The El Paso Risk Assessment of Juveniles at Intake (El Paso RAJI) was developed by Valenzuela (2011) for this purpose. The current study had three aims: i) to assess the validity of the RAJI as a predictor of recidivism among first-time juvenile offenders, ii) to compare the predictive power of RAJI items with the predictive power of similar items from another risk assessment instrument, the Pre-Positive Achievement Change Tool (PrePACT), and iii) to explore new items for possible inclusion in the next version of the RAJI. Probation officers at the El Paso Juvenile Probation Department (El Paso JPD) administered the RAJI at intake to 367 first-time juvenile offenders between January 2012 and December 2012. One-year recidivism data for these offenders was collected from JPD files. Analyses showed that the RAJI correlated significantly with Any Referrals ( r =.235) and with Non-Technical Referrals (r = .212) in the present sample but not with Serious Referrals. Seven of the twenty RAJI items were cross-validated and found to have a significant correlation with Any Referrals. No PrePACT item was found to be a better predictor of recidivism than its corresponding RAJI item. However, one PrePACT item "Attitude - Belief in Physical Aggression" correlated significantly with recidivism and added incremental validity to the RAJI.

Subject Area

Law|Experimental psychology

Recommended Citation

Ranadive, Dilata, "Cross-validation of the El Paso Risk Assessment of Juveniles at Intake Scale (El Paso RAJI)" (2014). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1583943.