The Alameda County Probation Department was awarded a grant from the National Institute of Justice in 1998 to develop a risk assessment for probation placement cases. The goal of the project was to implement a system-wide classification and placement system that would address the public concern for safety and effectiveness in dealing with juvenile crime. It would use a structured process that would assess the risk of future recidivism in combination with the severity of the current offense. This risk assessment project would develop a scientific and rational basis for making classification and placement decisions. It would ensure that extra-legal factors were not used in classification and decision making. Further, it would structure the process such that juveniles would be held accountable for delinquent behavior.