How do we Assess Risk?

Offender Manager looking at OASys on her computer

Offender Assessment System

The probation and prison services across the country use a system called the Offender Assessment System (OASys) for assessing the risks and needs of an offender.

OASys is designed to:

  • Assess how likely an offender is to re-offend

  • Identify and classify offending-related needs

  • Assess risk of serious harm, risks to the individual and other risks

  • Inform the development of a plan to manage the risk of harm presented by the offender

  • Link the assessment to the supervision or sentence plan

  • Indicate the need for further specialist assessments

  • Measure change during the period of supervision/sentence

Benefits of OASys

OASys is an integral part of the work probation officers do in assessing offenders; identifying the risks they pose, deciding how to minimise those risks and how to tackle their offending behaviour effectively.  OASys is designed to help practitioners to make sound and defensible decisions.

Assessment is a process that continues throughout sentence.  OASys can be used to re-assess offenders at various points during their sentence and to measure how they have changed.