Kansas Sentencing Commission Authorized to Make Statewide Supervision and Placement Cutoff Decisions Based Upon the Risk and Needs of the Offender
In 2013, the Kansas legislature mandated through the Kansas Sentencing Act 74-9101(b)(21), that the Kansas Sentencing Commission: "be authorized to make statewide supervision and placement cutoff decisions based upon the risk levels and needs of the offender. The Commission shall periodically review data and make recommended changes." In accordance with that Act, the Sentencing Commission is developing statewide Level of Service Inventory - Revised (LSI-R) cutoff score decision guidance, which will be provided to stakeholders.
To address the legislative mandate and establish a consistent state "cutoff score decision," an LSI-R Subcommittee was formed. Members of the Commission participating are: Hon. Evelyn Wilson, Chair; Betsy Gillespie; Chris Mechler; and Ray Roberts. The Subcommittee has met six times to plan procedures for data collection and develop the project. Dr. Alex Holsinger, Professor of Criminal Justice and Criminology at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, was enlisted to assist in the study.
In March, assessment data were collected statewide from offenders participating in court services and community corrections programs. The data will be used to establish cutoffs. Dr. Holsinger presented his findings to the Subcommittee and Sentencing Committee in May. The presentation included examining the distribution of LSI-R scores and identifying the natural cut-points in three "cut-point" strategies: Tri (three equal categories of equal size - 33% each), Quad (four categories of equal size - 25% each) and Quint (five categories of equal size - 20% each). Testing revealed statistically significant differences between court services and community corrections cutoff scores; community corrections had significantly higher scores in every instance (p < .001). The final cutoff score decision will be made after further study and reviews from the Commission.
In addition to its work with the LSI-R cutoff scores, the Kansas Sentencing Commission also recently published its FY 2013 Annual Report, which is available at http://www.sentencing.ks.gov/newsitemdetail/2014/05/09/2013-ksc-annual-report.