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April 25, 2021

"A Primer on Risk Assessment for Legal Decisionmakers"

The title of this post is the title of this new article authored by Christopher Slobogin now available via SSRN. Here is its abstract:

This primer is addressed to judges, parole board members, and other legal decisionmakers who use or are considering using the results of risk assessment instruments (RAIs) in making determinations about post-conviction dispositions, as well as to legislators and executive officials responsible for authorizing such use.  It is meant to help these decisionmakers determine whether a particular RAI is an appropriate basis for legal determinations and whether evaluators who rely on an RAI have done so properly.  This primer does not take a position on whether RAIs should be integrated into the criminal process.  Rather, it provides legal decision-makers with information about how RAIs are constructed and the types of information they provide, with the goal of facilitating their intelligent selection and use.

April 25, 2021 at 01:17 PM | Permalink


No doubt we have now spent hundreds of thousands (probably millions) of dollars discussing the implementation of Risk Assessment instruments.

Risk Assessments that are mandated by the BOP apparently do not carry weight for sentencing relief. There have been inmates with Risk Assessments well below 4 and inmates with Risk Assessments with minus points who are denied sentencing relief through
Compassionate Release and Home Confinement.

The purpose of these assessments seems to be employment of BOP staff to fill them out.

Many institutions will not allow staff to write letters of recommendation for inmates for sentencing relief for CR, home confinement or clemency. Letters of support for sentencing relief sent to the BOP at any stage are returned stating that support is not allowed.

Posted by: beth curtis | Apr 25, 2021 8:30:18 PM

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