Field Reassessment Offender Screening Tool (FROST)

Field Re-Assessment Offender Screening Tool (FROST)



The Field Re-assessment Offender Screening Tool (FROST) is a 42 item risk/needs assessment instrument that assesses the presence of a variety of lifestyle type issues among clients in conflict with the law. The FROST is a companion instrument to the Offender Screening Tool (OST) but has scoring differences that allow for more frequent use. The main difference is in the scoring time frames in which FROST items are scored.  FROST items are scored on the basis of behavior during the past 180 days of probation supervision, whereas the OST is administered as an initial assessment instrument. Like the OST, the FROST is based on a review of relevant file information and an interview with the client. Some judgment is required in scoring items on the FROST. This Scoring Guide provides a description of FROST items and tips on scoring items. The intent of the guide is to increase scoring reliability. It is recommended that this guide be used in conjunction with, and not in place of, appropriate training.  The FROST should not be administered unless the user has received adequate training


There are two important issues relevant to scoring the FROST.  First, each FROST item is scored based on information obtained from available file information, a face-to-face interview, and the staff’s professional judgment.  In addition, the interview should be based on a discussion between interviewer and offender. It should not be based on an interrogation, which is characterized by extensive use of closed-ended (yes/no) type questions (e.g., “you don’t have any physical problems, do you?, “do you have enough money to meet your needs?”, etc.).  An interview dialogue is characterized by a conversational exchange that primarily involves open-ended type questions that stimulate discussion (e.g., “tell me about your criminal history”), that can be followed with closed-ended questions for clarification (e.g., “do you have two or three priors?”).


The second important issue in scoring the FROST relates to scoring criteria.  Generally speaking, FROST items are scored on the basis of patterns of behavior rather than single incidents.  For example, an offender may have a single incident of alcohol use, which could be viewed as ‘social use’.  On the other hand, ‘problematic use’ of alcohol would be characterized by excessive frequency (too often), amount (too much), or resulting in negative outcomes (e.g., social disruption, legal consequences etc.).  As a general rule, FROST User’s should have at least one or two reasons why each FROST item is scored as it is.  Finally, effort should be made to score each FROST item on the basis of independent evidence, rather than using a single behavioral episode to score multiple FROST items. 


For more information please contact:

Krista Forster


[email protected]