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July 14, 2020

"The United States of Risk Assessment: The Machines Influencing Criminal Justice Decisions"

The title of this post is the title of this very useful Law.com/Legaltech News article and related research project by Rhys Dipshan, Victoria Hudgins and Frank Ready. The subtitle of the piece provides an overview: "In every state, assessment tools help courts decide certain cases or correctional officers determine the supervision and programming an offender receives. But the tools each state uses varies widely, and how they're put into practice varies even more."  This companion piece, titled "The Most Widely Used Risk Assessment Tool in Each U.S State," provides this introduction:

There are dozens of risk assessment tools in use in local criminal justice systems around the country.  Not all have a far reaching impact, such as those specialized to a specific risk like domestic violence or those assessing risk for a certain demographic like juvenile offenders.  Tools that have the broadest impact and deployment, however, are ones that look at recidivism pretrial risk in adult populations.

Below, we highlight these specific tools in use in each state, and the criminal justice decisions point they influence.  These findings are part of a broader research project examining how jurisdictions implement risk assessment tools, and how they determine they accurately work and are implemented as intended.  The project also dives into how risk assessment tools generate their scores and the debate around whether these instrument exacerbate or mitigate bias in criminal justice decision making.

July 14, 2020 at 11:59 AM | Permalink


The BOP staffers are well known for tampering with custody scores, as they claim, on behest of higher ups, Unit Managers who are subjected to outside pressures from several notorious U.S. attorney offices who like to stay in hiding and deniability. The routine tampering is done by unauthorized - unlawful - entry into the BOP database, adding "violence levels", "prior escapes" and other items to unsupecting inmates scores, that are intended to cause calculation results to reflect "In-Custody" rather than "Out-Custody" algorithm determinations. These manipulations count heavily against any claim that due process is followed, Judges close their coordinated eyes when alerted (even with paper copies), and defeat claims that the U.S. follows RULE OF LAW mandates.

Posted by: Melanie L Lopez | Jul 15, 2020 11:53:38 AM

Out of the many articles, this is perhaps the most impressive one.

Posted by: skribbl io | Sep 9, 2020 10:07:53 PM

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