ACDI Corrections Version II

ACDI-CV II is a Juvenile Risk Assessment

ACDI is the acronym for Adolescent Chemical Dependency Inventory.

ACDI-Corrections Version II

ACDI is the acronym for Adolescent Chemical Dependency Inventory

The ACDI-Corrections Version II is a juvenile (male and female) assessment or screening test. It is used in juvenile courts (drug courts, family courts, municipal courts, etc.), juvenile probation departments, community corrections and counseling or treatment programs. If the intent is to identify or screen out disturbed and/or violent juveniles so they can be helped, we suggest you consider the ACDI-Corrections Version II. The ACDI-Corrections Version II is appropriate for misdemeanor and felony cases. It has impressive evidence based reliability, validity and accuracy.



The ACDI-Corrections Version II is an evidence based self-report juvenile assessment instrument or test. It consists of 140 items and takes around 30 minutes to complete. The ACDI-Corrections Version II is computer scored within 2½ minutes of data (answers) input.

Seven (7) Scales (Measures)

1. Truthfulness Scale: Measures the juvenile's truthfulness while completing the test. It identifies denial, guardedness, and problem minimization. The Truthfulness Scale detects faking good.

2. Alcohol Scale: Measures alcohol use, the severity of abuse and the presence of alcohol-related problems. "Alcohol" refers to beer, wine and other liquors.

3. Drugs Scale: Measures illicit drug use and the severity of abuse. "Drugs" refers to marijuana (pot), crack, cocaine, amphetamines, barbiturates, heroin, etc. This scale is independent of the Alcohol Scale described above.

4. Violence (Lethality) Scale: Measures the use of force to injure, damage or destroy. This scale identifies the youth's danger to self and others.

5. Distress Scale: Measures strain imposed by pain, worry, anxiety, depression, physical torment or suffering. Distress is the most common reason for juveniles to seek counseling.

6. Adjustment Scale: Measures the youth's ability to adapt, conform and function. This scale recognizes personal and social stressors at home, at school and in authority relationships. It incorporates personal and social forces involved in adapting to one's environment.

7. Stress Coping Abilities Scale: Measures the youth's ability to manage their stress, anxiety and pressure. Stress exacerbates symptoms of emotional and mental health problems. This scale is a non-introversive way to screen for the presence of established emotional and mental health problems.

Why use the ACDI-Corrections Version II? While adult crime rates have recently fallen across the U.S., they have risen among the nation's youth. For example, as the adult arrest rate for murder fell from 1978 to 1993, the juvenile murder rate rose by 77%. And, at the same time, the arrest rate of youth for all violent crimes climbed 79%. These statistics underscore the need for meaningful and accurate juvenile assessment. Early detection of troubled youths' problems facilitates quicker intervention and treatment. This type of information also helps in deciding upon counseling, treatment, probation, levels of supervision and incarceration alternatives. The ACDI-Corrections Version II is designed to meet these needs. It is much more than just another alcohol or drug test. Version II's seven scales (measures) acquire important juvenile adjustment information.

"Appropriate for Misdemeanor and Felony Offenders"

At one sitting of approximately 30 minutes in duration, staff can acquire a vast amount of juvenile-related information, which includes attitudes, substance abuse involvement, acting out (violence) propensity, perceived distress and coping (stress management) skills. Early problem identification facilitates timely intervention and improved treatment results.

Advantages of Screening

Screening or assessment instruments filter out individuals with serious problems that may require referral for treatment. This filtering system works as follows:

ACDI-Corrections Version II Risk Ranges

Risk Catagory Risk Range Percentile Total Percent
Low Risk 0 - 39% 39%
Medium Risk 40 - 69% 30%
Problem Risk 70 - 89% 20%
Severe Risk 90 - 100% 10%

Reference to the above Risk Range table shows that a problem is not identified until a scale score is at the 70th percentile or higher. These risk range percentiles are based upon thousands of troubled youth that have taken the ACDI-Corrections Version II. This screening procedure is eminently fair, and it avoids extremes, i.e., over-identification and under-identification of problems and risk.

A state, department, juvenile court, family and juvenile drug court or agency policy might refer clients with identified problems for intervention or treatment. Policy might only refer clients with serious problems (Severe Problem, 11%) for additional services. Version II results (scale scores) can also be helpful when deciding upon levels of supervision.

Budgetary savings (dollars) would be large with no compromises in needy youths receiving appropriate evaluation and/or treatment services. Indeed, even more needy youths would receive help. Without a screening program, there is usually more risk of over or under-utilization of additional professional services.

Test Booklets ACDI-Corrections Version II test booklets are provided free. These booklets contain 140 items (true/false and multiple choice) and are written at a 5th to 6th grade reading level. If a person can read the newspaper, they can read the ACDI-Corrections Version II. It takes on average 25 to 30 minutes to complete this test. Test booklets are available in English and Spanish. ACDI-Corrections Version II reports summarize the youth's self-reported history, explain what attained scale scores mean and offer specific score-related recommendations.

Within 2½ minutes of test data (answers) entry, automated (computer-scored) 4-page reports are printed on-site. These reports summarize a lot of information in an easily understood format. For example, these reports include a Version II profile (graph), which summarizes troubled youth findings at a glance. Also included are attained scale scores, an explanation of what each score means and specific score-related recommendations. In addition, significant items (direct admissions) are highlighted, and answers to multiple choice items are presented. Emphasis is placed on having meaningful reports that are helpful and easily understood.

"Provides a sound empirical basis for decisions"

Two Different Ways to Administer

The ACDI-Corrections Version II can be administered in two different ways: 1. Windows diskettes and USB flash drives ( or 2. Online or over the internet (

Windows Version

The ACDI-Corrections Version II (Version II) system contains a proprietary built-in database. Earlier, it was noted that all Version II used diskettes/USB flash drives are returned to Risk & Needs and the test data is downloaded into the Version II database. This expanding database allows ongoing research and test program summary features that were not available before. Ongoing research insures quality control. Testing program summaries provide for program self-evaluation.

Built-in database. Version II permits ongoing research and annual program summary - at no additional cost. As discussed earlier, when the 25 or 50-test diskettes are used, these diskettes/USB flash drives are returned to Risk & Needs, checked for viruses and downloaded into the expanding Version II database. Advantages of this proprietary database are many and include database (research) analysis and annual testing program summary reports. No personal information, e.g., names or social security numbers are ever downloaded into any test database.

Returned diskettes/USB flash drives can be summarized on a state, department or agency basis - at no additional cost to users. Annual summary reports provide information that permits testing program review.

After downloading test data, returned diskettes are destroyed.

In summary, having all returned ACDI-Corrections Version II test data centrally filed at Risk & Needs’ offices in the Version II database has many advantages. Database analysis permits ongoing cost efficient research that includes scale alpha coefficients, ANOVA, frequency distributions, correlations, and cross-tab statistics along with reliability, validity and accuracy determinations.

Online or Internet Testing

Online or internet ACDI-Corrections Version II assessment or testing is done entirely on a internet testing platform, The ACDI-Corrections Version II is used in juvenile courts, family courts, juvenile probation departments, juvenile counseling and treatment settings.

The online ACDI-Corrections Version II looks and functions exactly like the Windows (diskettes and USB flash drives) system. Aside from the fact that it is administered and scored over the internet, all other test features (test items, scoring, generation of reports, etc.) are the same. We deliberately kept the ACDI-Corrections Version II test booklet, scoring methodology and report format the same, etc.

Yet, online or internet testing does offer some unique features that have great appeal to some assessors. For example, internet testing is convenient and available on a 24/7/365 basis. Since Risk & Needs’ internet testing platform allows assessors and evaluators to purchase test applications as needed, there is no longer a need to maintain expensive test inventories. Online or internet testing is also positively conducive to ongoing research. Test data (answers, demographics, etc.) is collected in a cumulative database. This facilitates research as the test data is “clean” (minimal input errors) and centralized.

Reliability, Validity and Accuracy: The ACDI-Corrections Version II has a built-in proprietary database that insures inclusion of all administered tests in a confidential (no names) manner. Over 90,000 juveniles' test data are represented in the ACDI and ACDI-Corrections Version II database. These reliability, validity and accuracy statistics are reported in the document titled "ACDI: An Inventory of Scientific Findings." Annual database analysis demonstrates that ACDI-Corrections Version II scales have very high reliability coefficients with minimum interscale correlations. Additional research is available for your review at

For example, internal consistencies (alpha coefficients) for ACDI-Corrections Version II scales are reported in the following table for some troubled youth (N=2,180) screened in the year 2011.

ACDI-Corrections Version II = Reliability (N=2,180)

Scales (Measures) Coefficient Alpha Significance Level
Truthfulness .87 p<.001
Alcohol .90 p<.001
Drugs .89 p<.001
Violnce (Lethality) .86 p<.001
Distress .88 p<.001
Adjustment .86 p<.001
Stress Coping .90 p<.001

All ACDI-Corrections Version II scales have alpha coefficients well above the professionally accepted standard of .75 and are highly reliable. All alpha coefficients are significant at the p<.001 level.

ACDI-Corrections Version II research extends over 16 years. Many studies have been conducted on thousands of juveniles using several validation methods. Early studies used criterion measures and were validated with other tests, e.g., Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) L-Scale and F-Scale, 16PF, Juvenile Profile, MMPI MacAndrews Scale, MMPI Psychopathic Deviate, MMPI Taylor Manifest Anxiety, MMPI Depression Scale, MMPI Manifest Hostility Scale, MMPI Delinquency Scale, MMPI Family Discord Scale, etc.

Much of this research is summarized in the document titled "ACDI: An Inventory of Scientific Findings". Subsequently, many discriminant and predictive validity database analysis-based studies support Version II's reliability, validity and accuracy. ACDI-Corrections Version II scoring methodology is based on over 90,000 juveniles (male and female). These studies are updated annually for each Version II scale. And, separate studies are available for gender (male and female) and ethnicity (Caucasian, Black, Hispanic). This database research is ongoing.

Research Publication: Nebraska Probation Department's Intensive Supervision Probation (ISP) selection process was automated with Risk & Needs tests. These tests include the Driver Risk Inventory-II, SAQ-Adult Probation III, Domestic Violence Inventory and the ACDI-Corrections Version II. This research is reported in Edward C. Birkel and David L. Wegner's article (2000). "Accurate Intensive Supervision Probation Selection: Revisited." American Probation and Parole Association, Perspectives, Vol. 24, #4 Fall, pp. 18-21.

Much ACDI-Corrections Version II research is recorded in the document titled "ACDI: An Inventory of Scientific Findings." This research is presented chronologically, as it took place. This inventory of research will be continued in the future and it is available upon request.

Staff Member Input: The ACDI-Corrections Version II is to be used in conjunction with experienced staff judgment. When available, juvenile court and adjustment records should be reviewed, as they can contain important information not provided or incorrectly provided by the juvenile. For these reasons, the following statement is contained on each Version II report: "ACDI - Corrections Version II results are confidential and should be considered working hypotheses. No decision should be based solely upon these results. The ACDI - Corrections Version II is to be used in conjunction with experienced staff judgment." Space is also provided in ACDI-Corrections Version II reports for staff input.


The Truthfulness Scale measures how truthful and open the juvenile was while completing the ACDI-Corrections Version II. This scale identifies denial, problem minimization and faking. Many troubled youths attempt to minimize their problems. A Truthfulness Scale is a necessary component in contemporary juvenile assessment. The ACDI-Corrections Version II Truthfulness Scale has been validated with other tests, truthfulness studies, and the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) L and F-Scales. It consists of a number of items that most juveniles agree or disagree with. This important scale has been demonstrated to be reliable, valid and accurate. Much of this research is reported in the document titled "ACDI: An Inventory of Scientific Findings."

Truth-Corrected Scores have proven to be very important in enhancing assessment accuracy. The ACDI-Corrections Version II Truthfulness Scale has been correlated with the other six Version II scales. The Truth Correction equation then converts raw scores to Truth-Corrected scores. Truth Correction scores are more accurate than raw scores. Raw scores reflect what the juvenile wants you to know. Truth-Corrected scores reveal what the juvenile is trying to hide.

"Includes a Violence (Lethality) Scale"

The Violence (Lethality) Scale measures the juvenile's propensity for using force to injure, damage or destroy. It identifies the youth's danger to self and others. The burgeoning awareness of adolescent violence (lethality) in our society resulted in the inclusion of the Violence Scale in the ACDI-Corrections Version II. When screening violence or lethality, potential is important.

The Distress Scale measures the youth's experienced pain, suffering, anxiety and depression. The blending of symptom clusters is clear in the definition of dysphoria, i.e., a generalized feeling of anxiety, restlessness and depression. Distress incorporates unhappiness, dissatisfaction, worry, apprehension, etc. The Distress Scale also incorporates items symptomatic of anxiety and depression. Distress has broad applicability in adjustment, intervention, counseling and outcome.

The Stress Coping Abilities Scale measures how well the juvenile handles stress, tension and pressure. This scale goes beyond establishing whether or not a juvenile is experiencing stress. It determines how well the youth handles or copes with stress. How well a person manages stress can effect their adjustment and mental health. Stress exacerbates emotional and mental health symptomatology. Consequently, this scale is a non-introversive way to screen established (diagnosable) mental health problems. A juvenile scoring at or above the 90th percentile on the Stress Coping Abilities Scale should be referred for a more comprehensive evaluation and diagnosis, as warranted.

More than just another alcohol or drug test: In addition to alcohol and drugs, the ACDI-Corrections Version II assesses other important areas of inquiry like truthfulness, violence (lethality), distress, adjustment and stress coping or management abilities. The ACDI-Corrections Version II is designed specifically for juvenile (male and female) assessment. It provides the information needed for understanding troubled juveniles.

Three ways to give Version II: The ACDI-Corrections Version II can be administered in three different ways: 1. Paper-Pencil test booklet format is the most popular testing procedure. English and Spanish test booklets are available. 2. Version II tests can be given directly on the computer screen. Some youth offender programs dedicate computers for on-screen testing. 3. Human voice audio is available for English and Spanish speaking youths. This involves a computer and a headset. The juvenile uses the up-down arrow keys. As the juvenile goes from question to answer with the arrow keys, that question or answer is highlighted on the monitor (screen) and simultaneously read to the juvenile. These three administration modes are discussed in the ACDI Training Manual. Each test administration mode has advantages and some limitations. Risk & Needs offers these three test administration modes so test users can select the administration mode that is optimally suited to their needs.

"Demonstrated Reliability, Validity and Accuracy"

Reading Impaired Assessment: Reading impaired juveniles represent 20+ percent of youth tested. This represents a serious problem to many other juvenile tests. In contrast, Risk & Needs has developed a proprietary alternative for reading impaired assessment which is termed "human voice audio."

Human Voice Audio (in English or Spanish) helps resolve many reading problems along with cultural difference issues. Passive vocabularies are often greater than active vocabularies. Hearing items read often helps reduce both cultural and communication problems. As discussed earlier, "human voice audio" test presentation requires a computer, earphones and simple instructions regarding how to operate the up-down arrow keys located on the computer keyboard. Without this "human voice" option, a juvenile screening program could be limited.

Confidentiality: Risk & Needs encourages test users to delete juvenile names from diskettes before they are returned to Risk & Needs. This proprietary name deletion procedure involves a few keystrokes. Once juvenile names are deleted, they are gone and cannot be retrieved. Deleting juvenile names does not delete demographics or test data, which is downloaded into the ACDI-Corrections Version II database for subsequent analysis. This 'name deletion' procedure insures juvenile confidentiality and compliance with HIPAA (federal regulation 45 C.F.R. 164.501). Risk & Needs provides the “name deletion” program, but it is the test administrator or test-related staff’s responsibility to use it to delete juvenile’s names.

Test Data Input Verification: This proprietary program allows the person that inputs the test data from the answer sheet into the computer to verify the accuracy of their data input. In brief, test data is input twice, and any inconsistencies between the first and second data entries are highlighted until corrected. When the first and second data entries match or are the same, the staff person may continue. Use of this data entry verification procedure is optional, yet it is strongly recommended by Risk & Needs.

Inventory of Scientific Findings: Much of the ACDI-Corrections Version II research has been gathered together in one document titled "ACDI: An Inventory of Scientific Findings." This document summarizes Version II research chronologically - as the studies were completed. This rather innovative chronological reporting format was established largely because of the Version II database, which permits annual database analysis of all tests administered. It also allows the reader to observe the evolution of the ACDI-Corrections Version II into its current state-of-the-art position.

Staff Training: Risk & Needs staff is available to participate in ACDI-Corrections Version II training programs scheduled by test users in the United States. Large departments, agencies or statewide programs often are interested in Version II staff training. Sometimes, smaller agencies or departments get together for a joint training session on the ACDI-Corrections Version II. This training can include hands-on computer scoring. Risk & Needs gives attendees certificates attesting to their ACDI-Corrections Version II training.

Staff training is also provided on Fridays at Risk & Needs' Phoenix offices from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. or from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. These training sessions are free. To participate, contact Risk & Needs at least ten days in advance. Participation is on a first call, first scheduled basis.

"State-of-the-Art Juvenile Assessment"