Recrafting Youth Risk Assessment: Developing the Modified Positive Achievement Change Tool for Iowa

Document Type


Department or Administrative Unit

Law and Justice

Publication Date



Risk assessments have become prevalent in the juvenile justice field. Many of these tools are adopted off-the-shelf and not adapted to fit the characteristics of a jurisdiction’s justice-involved youth. We examined the Positive Achievement Change Tool (PACT) in Iowa. Although used widely, the PACT is relatively unmodified. We updated the tool via item selection and weighting, gender-specific models and multiple outcomes, developing the Modified Positive Achievement Change Tool (M-PACT) for Iowa. We identified an average predictive accuracy increase of 7%. Evidence of reduced racial disparity was also observed, and research implications outline the need to customize assessments to improve predictive accuracy.


This article was originally published in Deviant Behavior. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

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Deviant Behavior