Selecting and Using Risk Assessment Tools in Problem-Solving Courts

Tuesday Dec 06, 2016 - 01:00pm to 02:30pm EST
Event Description: 

The Justice Programs Office at American University will be conducting a webinar entitled, "Selecting and Using Risk Assessment Tools in Problem-Solving Courts," on Tuesday, December 6, 2016 from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. ET.  This webinar will be presented by Dr. Sarah Desmarais, Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Applied Social and Community Psychology Program at North Carolina State University.

Risk assessment is a key component of evidence-based supervision in the United States, and justice system agencies are increasingly required to implement risk assessment instruments to inform decisionmaking. These instruments differ greatly in their content, approach, and research support. This webinar will provide a brief introduction to the history of risk assessment, followed by a description of the characteristics and content of contemporary risk assessment instruments used in U.S. correctional settings, including their strengths and limitations. The webinar will conclude with guidance regarding the selection and implementation of a risk assessment tool in the context of problem-solving courts. 

Presenter: Sarah L. Desmarais, PhD, Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Applied Social and Community Psychology Program at North Carolina State University

Dr. Desmarais is an Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Applied Social and Community Psychology Program at North Carolina State University. She received her MA and PhD from the Law and Forensic Psychology Program at Simon Fraser University and completed a postdoctoral research fellowship in population and public health at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Desmarais’s program of research lies at the nexus of public health and public safety. She has more than 70 publications on behavioral health assessment, risk assessment, and violence. She has held over $3 million in research grants from agencies including the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Justice. Dr. Desmarais has trained and consulted for mental health and criminal justice agencies worldwide on the implementation of risk assessment approaches and other evidence-based practices. She also sits on local, state, and national advisory committees. Dr. Desmarais received the 2014-15 College of Humanities and Social Sciences Outstanding Junior Faculty Award and was selected as one of the 2015-16 University Faculty Scholars.

Organization of the Session:

The presentation will be a 90-minute session with the last 30 minutes of the webinar reserved for questions from participants. The webinar is planned to be interactive with attendees invited to submit their questions in advance to


To register for the webinar:

1. Go to:

2. Click Register.

3. On the registration form, enter your information and then click Submit.

4. This will generate an automatic email confirming your registration and providing you with the information to attend the event (the email will be from "messenger").


If you are not able to participate in the live session of this webinar, the slides and recording of the webinar will be made available shortly after and archived at Please contact Anna Koozmin ( if you have any questions on the webinar or the registration process.


We look forward to your participation in this webinar.




Justice Programs Office, School of Public Affairs

American University

4801 Massachusetts Avenue N.W., Suite 508

Washington D.C. 20016-8159

Telephone: 202/885-2875



Event Cost Information
no cost
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Organizer Information
Event Organization: 
Justice Programs Office
Event POC: 
Anna Koozmin
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Event POC Phone: