The Case Against Pretrial Risk Assessment Instruments–PJI 2020

Pretrial risk assessment instruments (RAIs) are actuarial tools intended to estimate two key outcomes for those who are released pending trial: the likelihood that someone will fail to appear for court, and the likelihood that someone will be arrested for a new crime before the disposition of their case. The use of RAIs is a topic of great debate among criminal justice practitioners, community advocates, formerly incarcerated people, policymakers, and academics. This paper lays out the case for why risk assessments should not be a part of pretrial decision making.

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