Instruments for assessing risk and needs for delinquent youths

For youths exhibiting criminal behavior there is an elevated risk of multiple negative outcomes later in life: being outside of the labor market, continuous criminal behavior, mental and physical illness, substance abuse, and even premature death. Efforts to counteract this behavior is therefore important.

The population is young people aged 12–20 years with a history of violence and/or other criminal activity including gang-related crime. Several actors are involved in this population, such as the Social Services, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the Swedish National Board of Institutional Care, SIS.

The aim of this project is to examine whether instruments assessing risk and needs can predict crime, i.e. violence or other criminal activity, including gang-related criminality. Another aim is to study the impact from these instruments on the planning of treatment and other interventions, both short and long term. The comparison is no use of a structured risk and need assessment. The project will also include qualitative studies of the experiences of using structured risk and need assessment for young people. Furthermore, ethical and economical aspects will be considered.

The project is initiated by SBU. The results will be included in an ongoing guideline/knowledge support from the National Board of Health and Welfare aimed for the Social Services’ work with this population. A forthcoming plan is a systematic review of intervention effects for this population.

Ongoing Projects

Planned to be published: Quarter 3, 2019
Contact SBU:
Registration no: SBU 2017/1022

Project group


  • Susanne Strand, Associate professor, Örebro University
  • Helene Ybrandt, Associate professor, Umeå University
  • Johan Glad, Doctor of Philosophy, National Board of Health and Welfare
  • Martin Lardén, Graduate Student, Swedish Prison and Probation Service and Karolinska Institutet
  • Pia Nykänen, Senior lecturer, University of Gothenburg

From SBU

  • Therese Åström, Project Director
  • Gunilla Fahlström, Assistant Project Director
  • Anna Attergren Granath, Project Administrator
  • Agneta Brolund, Information Specialist
  • Johanna Wiss, Health Economist
  • Ulrika Janson, Legal Advisor
Page updated