Risk Assessments

In most discussions about Bail Reform there is often the mention of "validated" risk assessments as a tool in determining the pretrial release of criminal defendants. Proponents of bail reform tout them as the panacea to the ills in the criminal justice system. See the other side of the story

General Information

Risk Assessments- All Talk, No Results

Whitepaper discussing background and overview of the use of risk assessments in the United States.

An overview of recent studies reviewing the use of Risk Assessments


Stevenson, Assessing Risk Assessment In Action (December 8, 2017).

Wang, Procedural Justice and Risk-Assessment Algorithms, Yale University (2018).

Werth, "Theorizing the Performative Effects of Penal Risk Technologies: (Re)producing the Subject Who Must Be Dangerous", Rice University (2018).

View- Koepke & Robinson, Danger Ahead: Risk Assessment and the Future of Bail Reform, Washington Law Review (Forthcoming) (2018).


Article Regarding Inaccuracy of Risk Assessments:

Software 'No More Accurate Than Untrained Humans' at Judging Reoffending Risk

Article Regarding Racial Bias of Risk Assessments:

Machine Bias: There's Software Used Across the County to Predict Future Criminals. And It's Biased Against Blacks

Article Regarding Alaska's Experience with Risk Assessments:

Link to Artilce- Senator Cotello, Spectrum: Alaskans Are Calling Out For Action On Crime (May 5, 2018) Senator proposes repeal of risk assessment tool.

Editorials- Opinion Articles

Newsweek Opinion Article- Sassaman, Artificial Intelligence is Racist Yet Computer Algorithms Are Deciding Who Goes to Prison (January 24, 2018)

San Bernardino Opinion Article- Stirling, Replacing Judges Discretion Poses Risks (January 1, 2018)

Quad-City Times Opinion Article- Gross, Guest View: Leave Pre-Trial Release to Human Beings (April 1, 2018).

Press Release, More than 100 Civil Rights, Digital Justice, and Community-Based Organizations Raise Concerns About Pretrial Risk Assessment, www.civilrights.org (2018)


Link to Survey- Survey: Most Judges Aren't Ready to Abandon Money Bail


Warning From New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez on Bail Reform, Arnold Risk Assessment

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