Academic Publications

Differential Racial-Ethnic Predictive Validity

David A. Rembert | Howard Henderson | Danny Pirtle


This study examined the predictive validity of the Los Angeles County Needs Assessment Instrument (LAC) on a sample of African American and Hispanic juvenile probationers, without including White offenders that can bias results. It found the LAC predicted recidivism better for Hispanics than African Americans.

Key Takeaways

  • The LAC’s predictive accuracy was significantly better than chance for Hispanic youth, but not for African Americans.
  • For Hispanics, gang affiliation, age, and supervision level predicted recidivism, but no LAC factors did for African Americans.
  • There were no significant racial/ethnic differences in classification errors.
  • Results indicate needs assessments should be validated specifically for minority groups.