Effective justice strategies
Assess, inform and measure (AIM) pilot project
The Wisconsin Court System's Effective Justice Strategies Subcommittee (EJSS) has been working to explore and assess the effectiveness of policies and programs designed to improve public safety and reduce incarceration. With the leadership of subcommittee Chair Judge Carl Ashley, the EJSS has dedicated a significant amount of time studying the key factors in determining when or if an individual is appropriate to be safely diverted from a jail or prison sentence. Critical to this determination is the nature and value of the information provided to the court in advance of a sentencing decision.
The EJSS developed a process model titled AIM (Assess, Inform, and Measure) which is intended to provide the court with valid and reliable information that will have value in the case disposition process. This information would include a summary of the following:
- Risk assessment (an individual's risk to commit further crime in the community).
- Needs assessment (assessing criminogenic needs - needs that are directly related to the individual's criminal behavior).
- Responsivity assessment (taking into account the individual's unique characteristics such as motivation to change, learning style, gender and cultural needs).
- Community-based treatment programs that address needs and reduce the offender's risk to the community.
In addition to providing information to the court in advance of sentencing, the other key component of the AIM model includes the development of a "feedback loop." The first component, the process feedback loop, provides information on the value of the information being provided to the court. The next component, the outcome feedback loop, provides aggregate data back to the court and local criminal justice system about case outcomes, such as success/failure rates (recidivism) of offenders targeted for this project and validation of the screening/assessment process.
Goals of AIM
- Provide the sentencing court with a valid risk, needs, unique characteristic (responsivity) and community intervention assessment, while creating feedback loop that provides information on the success of court dispositions and community interventions in promoting offender success and public safety.
- Put into practice and evaluate a process that offers the court reliable information that will have value in the sentencing process, and may lead to the safe diversion of some persons, who may have otherwise received jail or prison confinement time, to community-based supervision and treatment.
AIM pilot counties:
Marathon, Milwaukee and Portage
For further information about the AIM Project, contact Statewide Problem-Solving Court Coordinator Michelle Cern, at (608) 266-8861.