« Is an end to the modern drug war the only real way to prevent future Fergusons? | Main | "An Empirical Evaluation of the Connecticut Death Penalty System Since 1973: Are There Unlawful Racial, Gender, and Geographic Disparities?" »

August 19, 2014

Senator Whitehouse defends risk-assessment tools for some sentencing determinations

The New York Times today published this letter-response by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse to this recent NYT commentary expressing concern about the use of risj-assessment tools in sentencing decision making.  Here is the full text of the published letter:  

In “Sentencing, by the Numbers” (Op-Ed, Aug. 11), Sonja B. Starr highlights concern over judges’ use in sentencing of predictive tools to gauge an offender’s risk of recidivism.  But let’s not overlook the important role that risk-assessment tools can play in helping identify the factors that make sentenced inmates more likely to commit crimes after they are released.

The most useful tools emphasize dynamic factors — those the inmate has the ability to change — including things like substance abuse, lack of education or antisocial attitudes.

States as different as Rhode Island and Kentucky have found that risk-assessment tools, when coupled with appropriate in-prison programs, can help inmates prepare to re-enter society with less likelihood that they’ll reoffend.  That reduces spending on prisons, keeps us safer and also benefits the prisoners themselves. 

Recent related posts:

August 19, 2014 at 09:44 AM | Permalink

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451574769e201b7c6cec828970b

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Senator Whitehouse defends risk-assessment tools for some sentencing determinations:

Comments

Post a comment

In the body of your email, please indicate if you are a professor, student, prosecutor, defense attorney, etc. so I can gain a sense of who is reading my blog. Thank you, DAB