Matching Items (12)

Vulnerability Assessment of Southwest Infrastructure to Increased Heat Using a Life Cycle Approach

Description

As average temperatures and occurrences of extreme heat events increase in the Southwest, the water infrastructure that was designed to operate under historical temperature ranges may become increasingly vulnerable to

As average temperatures and occurrences of extreme heat events increase in the Southwest, the water infrastructure that was designed to operate under historical temperature ranges may become increasingly vulnerable to component and operational failures. For each major component along the life cycle of water in an urban water infrastructural system, potential failure events and their semi-quantitative probabilities of occurrence were estimated from interview responses of water industry professionals. These failure events were used to populate event trees to determine the potential pathways to cascading failures in the system. The probabilities of the cascading failure scenarios under future conditions were then calculated and compared to the probabilities of scenarios under current conditions to assess the increased vulnerability of the system. We find that extreme heat events can increase the vulnerability of water systems significantly and that there are ways for water infrastructure managers to proactively mitigate these vulnerabilities before problems occur.

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A Field Study of a Comprehensive Violence Risk Assessment Battery.

Description

We used archival data to examine the predictive validity of a pre-release violence risk assessment battery over six years at a forensic hospital (N=230, 100% male, 63.0% African-American, 34.3% Caucasian).

We used archival data to examine the predictive validity of a pre-release violence risk assessment battery over six years at a forensic hospital (N=230, 100% male, 63.0% African-American, 34.3% Caucasian). Examining “real world” forensic decision-making is important for illuminating potential areas for improvement. The battery included the Historical-Clinical-Risk Management-20, Psychopathy Checklist-Revised, Schedule of Imagined Violence, and Novaco Anger Scale and Provocation Inventory. Three outcome “recidivism” variables included contact violence, contact & threatened violence, and any reason for hospital return. Results indicated measures of general violence risk and psychopathy were highly correlated but weakly associated with reports of imagined violence and a measure of anger. Measures of imagined violence and anger were correlated with one another. Receiver Operating Characteristic curve analyses revealed, unexpectedly, that none of the scales or subscales predicted recidivism better than chance. Multiple regression indicated the battery failed to account for recidivism outcomes. We conclude by discussing three possible explanations, including timing of assessments, controlled versus field studies, and recidivism base rates.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015-03-13

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Development of a Risk Assessment Tool for University of California- Riverside's Healthcare Enterprise

Description

The purpose of this project is to develop a risk assessment tool for the University of California, Riverside (UCR). UCR is health enterprise that manages operations under an environment of

The purpose of this project is to develop a risk assessment tool for the University of California, Riverside (UCR). UCR is health enterprise that manages operations under an environment of innate and uncontrollable risks. Therefore, a risk assessment tool is highly advisable under California State Laws and federal laws. In the case of overlapping laws, federal law will always prevail unless State law explicitly states otherwise. California Health Information Privacy Manual states that California must follow numerous state guidelines and a federal set of guidelines called HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996). HIPAA is put in place to protect and serve as an organizational tool to develop a stronger and more secure infrastructure of security measures within healthcare enterprises. Under HIPAA is a Security and Privacy Rule that was implemented by The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and will serve as the basis for the risk assessment tool I developed. The Security and Privacy Rule's main goal is to set a national standard of how electronic protected health information (ePHI) will be appropriately used and disclosed by organizations subject to this rule, also known covered entities. Covered entities include health plans, health care providers and health care clearinghouses unless specifically stated otherwise. Permitted uses and disclosures of PHI or ePHI are outlined in detail and covered entities are expected to follow all aspects of it that pertain to their role within a healthcare system. Under HHS, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) strictly enforces the Security and Privacy Rules and can issue civil money penalties and/or other major consequences making this a sizable and critical issue in healthcare environments. Each risk and impact must be assessed to determine an overall risk score. This score will then determine what risks need to be immediately addressed and which risks are most critical to UCR. To do this, potential impacts were determined for each section. The impact score can be decided by using a chart that will be discussed in the development section. The likeliness of the risk can be determined by a UCR professional via the provided chart and an overall risk score can be assigned. From here, an action plan can be set and carried out to eliminate possible hazards and imminent risks. Once a Risk Assessment tool is developed, potential risks can be indentified and dealt with appropriately in regard to level of impact and the likelihood of the risk occurring. By reducing risk, a healthcare enterprise can gain greater financial stability, decrease loss and protect vital information that is critical to the success organization.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018-05

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Improving Confidence in Suicide Risk Assessment in Psychiatric Urgent Care

Description

The utilization of suicide risk assessment tools is a critical component of a comprehensive approach to suicide risk assessment. However, some professionals hesitate to utilize screening tools routinely in practice.

The utilization of suicide risk assessment tools is a critical component of a comprehensive approach to suicide risk assessment. However, some professionals hesitate to utilize screening tools routinely in practice. A project was undertaken to determine if the utilization of the Columbia-Suicide Severity Scale (C-SSRS) improved staff confidence in assessing suicide risk. Professionals within a psychiatric urgent care in Scottsdale, Arizona were provided with
training on the C-SSRS. Participants then utilized the C-SSRS at triage with patients presenting with depression and/or suicidality over a two-month period.

Self confidence in assessing suicide risk was evaluated utilizing The Efficacy in Assessing and Managing Suicide Risk Scale (SETSP-S). The acceptability and usability of the C-SSRS was evaluated utilizing The System Usability Scale (SUS). Findings of the Wilcoxon Signed Ranks test indicated changes in pre and posttest assessment scores as significant in seven of the eight assessment parameters. In addition, Cohen's effect size value suggested medium or large clinical significance in these same assessment parameters.

Evidence suggests that efficient and effective assessment can improve staff confidence in assessing for suicidality and may improve morbidity and mortality rates for patients. The utilization of tools such as the C*SSRS could reduce health care costs associated with unnecessary hospital admissions as well as rehospitalizations. The routine utilization of assessment tools such as the C-SSRS many also be beneficial to healthcare specialties outside of behavioral health such as emergency departments and urgent care settings.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018-04-28

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Sociocultural Sensitivity: Risk Assessment and Health Outcomes

Description

Human health risk assessment is the process by which regulatory agencies estimate the potential for adverse health outcomes as a result of exposure to contaminated food, water, or environmental conditions

Human health risk assessment is the process by which regulatory agencies estimate the potential for adverse health outcomes as a result of exposure to contaminated food, water, or environmental conditions (US EPA, 2014). However, the risk assessment process typically does not require inputs to be culturally sensitive to the groups facing the potential health outcomes, and the guidelines suggest little emphasis on food security or food sovereignty, concepts which highlight the importance of access to healthy and culturally appropriate foods. This thesis outlines the theoretical concepts of food and environmental justice, framing them in the context of application to land based, rural communities such as Native American groups. This is significant due to the historically disproportionate contamination of Native lands by hazardous waste or other toxins. Three noteworthy case study examples featuring elements of oral exposure pathways to environmental contamination will be outlined and analyzed to articulate how, by incorporating locally-grounded knowledge, a risk assessment could uncover more accurate information, leading to more appropriate and effective mitigation techniques that uphold food and environmental justice principles. Finally, the trade offs between the expansion of local knowledge and the limitations on cultural consumption are discussed, with the conclusion that supports balancing these trade offs through locally grounded, community-driven assessment and mitigation of contamination.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019-12

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Climate resilience and vulnerability of the Salt River Project reservoir system, present and future

Description

Water resource systems have provided vital support to transformative growth in the Southwest United States; and for more than a century the Salt River Project (SRP) has served as a

Water resource systems have provided vital support to transformative growth in the Southwest United States; and for more than a century the Salt River Project (SRP) has served as a model of success among multipurpose federal reclamation projects, currently delivering approximately 40% of water demand in the metropolitan Phoenix area. Drought concerns have sensitized water management to risks posed by natural variability and forthcoming climate change.

Full simulations originating in climate modeling have been the conventional approach to impacts assessment. But, once debatable climate projections are applied to hydrologic models challenged to accurately represent the region’s arid hydrology, the range of possible scenarios enlarges as uncertainties propagate through sequential levels of modeling complexity. Numerous issues render future projections frustratingly uncertain, leading many researchers to conclude it will be some decades before hydroclimatic modeling can provide specific and useful information to water management.

Alternatively, this research investigation inverts the standard approach to vulnerability assessment and begins with characterization of the threatened system, proceeding backwards to the uncertain climate future. Thorough statistical analysis of historical watershed climate and runoff enabled development of (a) a stochastic simulation methodology for net basin supply (NBS) that renders the entire range of droughts, and (b) hydrologic sensitivities to temperature and precipitation changes. An operations simulation model was developed for assessing the SRP reservoir system’s cumulative response to inflow variability and change. After analysis of the current system’s drought response, a set of climate change forecasts for the balance of this century were developed and translated through hydrologic sensitivities to drive alternative NBS time series assessed by reservoir operations modeling.

Statistically significant changes in key metrics were found for climate change forecasts, but the risk of reservoir depletion was found to remain zero. System outcomes fall within ranges to which water management is capable of responding. Actions taken to address natural variability are likely to be the same considered for climate change adaptation. This research approach provides specific risk assessments per unambiguous methods grounded in observational evidence in contrast to the uncertain projections thus far prepared for the region.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Gender and risk assessment in juvenile offenders: a meta-analysis

Description

Although young males are still the primary perpetrators of juvenile crime, girls are increasingly coming into contact with the criminal justice system. While girls may have different pathways to crime

Although young males are still the primary perpetrators of juvenile crime, girls are increasingly coming into contact with the criminal justice system. While girls may have different pathways to crime and risks for recidivism than boys, their risk to reoffend is typically assessed using a gender-neutral tool that is based on social learning theory: a theory originally developed and tested on males. With the appropriateness of using gender-neutral tools to assess female criminality coming into question, a number of researchers have searched for a resolution. To date, mixed findings on the predictive validity of risk assessment tools have not provided any definitive answers. To help assess the predictive validity of the Youth Level of Service Inventory, separate meta-analyses were conducted for male and female juvenile offenders using previous studies. The mean effect sizes were compared in order to determine whether the predictive validity is similar for both males and females. With the exception of violent recidivism, results indicate that the YLS/CMI works equally well for male and female offenders. The implications of these findings for theory, research, and correctional policy are discussed.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Specialized Drug Court Participation Across Offender Subtypes

Description

Over the last few decades, specialized courts have received an increasing amount of research attention. The existing literature mostly supports drug courts and demonstrates their effectiveness in reducing recidivism and

Over the last few decades, specialized courts have received an increasing amount of research attention. The existing literature mostly supports drug courts and demonstrates their effectiveness in reducing recidivism and substance abuse, more generally (Belenko, 1998; Bouffard & Richardson, 2007; Gottfredson, Najaka, & Kearley, 2003). Whether the drug court model “works” across offender subgroups remains an open empirical question. The current study uses data originally collected by Rossman and colleagues (2003-2009) for the Multi-Site Adult Drug Court Evaluation (MADCE) to examine the effect of drug court participation on recidivism among unique offender subgroups. First, a context-specific risk score is used to examine recidivism outcomes. Second, offender subgroups are statistically created using latent class analysis (LCA). Recidivism outcomes are then assessed by subgroup, with these results compared to the initial measure of risk. Both analyses are performed using the full sample of drug court participants and the comparison groups. Finally, the third model uses a split sample analysis by court participation to explore the full effects of drug court. The findings of the present study contribute to the theoretical literature and help inform future policy regarding risk assessment and the treatment of offenders in drug courts.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018

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Risk assessment for domestic violence offenders: predicting probation outcomes

Description

Risk assessment instruments play a significant role in correctional intervention and guide decisions about supervision and treatment. Although advances have been made in risk assessment over the past 50 years,

Risk assessment instruments play a significant role in correctional intervention and guide decisions about supervision and treatment. Although advances have been made in risk assessment over the past 50 years, limited attention has been given to risk assessment for domestic violence offenders. This study investigates the use of the Domestic Violence Screening Inventory (DVSI) and the Offender Screening Tool (OST) with a sample of 573 offenders convicted of domestic violence offenses and sentenced to supervised probation in Maricopa County, Arizona. The study has two purposes. The first is to assess the predictive validity of the existing assessment tools with a sample of domestic violence offenders, using a number of probation outcomes. The second is to identify the most significant predictors of probation outcomes. Predictive validity is assessed using crosstabulations, bivariate correlations, and the Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curve. Logistic regression is used to identify the most significant predictors of probation outcomes. The DVSI and the OST were found to be predictive of probation outcomes and were most predictive of the outcomes petition to revoke filed, petition to revoke filed for a violation of specialized domestic violence conditions, and unsuccessful probation status. Significant predictors include demographics, criminal history, current offense, victim characteristics, static factors, supervision variables and dynamic variables. The most consistent predictors were supervision variables and dynamic risk factors. The supervision variables include being supervised on a specialized domestic violence caseload and changes in supervision, either an increase or decrease, during the probation grant. The dynamic variables include employment and substance abuse. The overall findings provide support for the continued use of the DVSI and the OST and are consistent with the literature on evidence-based practices for correctional interventions. However, the predictive validity of the assessments varied across sub-groups and the instruments were less predictive for females and offenders with non-intimate partner victims. In addition, study variables only explained a small portion of the variation in the probation outcomes. Additional research is needed, expanding beyond the psychology of criminal conduct, to continue to improve existing risk assessment tools and identify more salient predictors of probation outcomes for domestic violence offenders.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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Contaminants of emerging concern in U.S. sewage sludges and forecasting of associated ecological and human health risks using sewage epidemiology approaches

Description

Many manmade chemicals used in consumer products are ultimately washed down the drain and are collected in municipal sewers. Efficient chemical monitoring at wastewater treatment (WWT) plants thus may provide

Many manmade chemicals used in consumer products are ultimately washed down the drain and are collected in municipal sewers. Efficient chemical monitoring at wastewater treatment (WWT) plants thus may provide up-to-date information on chemical usage rates for epidemiological assessments. The objective of the present study was to extrapolate this concept, termed 'sewage epidemiology', to include municipal sewage sludge (MSS) in identifying and prioritizing contaminants of emerging concern (CECs). To test this the following specific aims were defined: i) to screen and identify CECs in nationally representative samples of MSS and to provide nationwide inventories of CECs in U.S. MSS; ii) to investigate the fate and persistence in MSS-amended soils, of sludge-borne hydrophobic CECs; and iii) to develop an analytical tool relying on contaminant levels in MSS as an indicator for identifying and prioritizing hydrophobic CECs. Chemicals that are primarily discharged to the sewage systems (alkylphenol surfactants) and widespread persistent organohalogen pollutants (perfluorochemicals and brominated flame retardants) were analyzed in nationally representative MSS samples. A meta-analysis showed that CECs contribute about 0.04-0.15% to the total dry mass of MSS, a mass equivalent of 2,700-7,900 metric tonnes of chemicals annually. An analysis of archived mesocoms from a sludge weathering study showed that 64 CECs persisted in MSS/soil mixtures over the course of the experiment, with half-lives ranging between 224 and >990 days; these results suggest an inherent persistence of CECs that accumulate in MSS. A comparison of the spectrum of chemicals (n=52) analyzed in nationally representative biological specimens from humans and MSS revealed 70% overlap. This observed co-occurrence of contaminants in both matrices suggests that MSS may serve as an indicator for ongoing human exposures and body burdens of pollutants in humans. In conclusion, I posit that this novel approach in sewage epidemiology may serve to pre-screen and prioritize the several thousands of known or suspected CECs to identify those that are most prone to pose a risk to human health and the environment.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013