Pretrial Risk Assessment

Risk Assessmet Header


Jurisdictions should have a pretrial services program or similar entity that conducts a risk assessment on all defendants in custody awaiting the initial appearance in court. Jurisdictions should also have a mechanism to regularly review the pretrial detainee population in the jail to see if circumstances may have changed that could allow for pretrial release.


A high functioning pretrial justice system should conduct a risk assessment and provide supervision for those released pending trial. The pretrial risk assessment should be empirically based and locally validated to be predictive of failure to appear in court and re-arrest while on pretrial status. In addition to assessments to determine pretrial release, specialized assessments such as domestic violence, substance abuse, and mental health evaluations can assist in the release and supervision decision.

American Bar Association Standards

Standard 10-1.10

  Every jurisdiction should establish a pretrial services agency or program to collect and present the necessary information present risk assessments, and, consistent with court policy, make release recommendations required by the judicial officer in making release decisions...
ABA Criminal Justice Standards on Pretrial Release Third Edition


Pretrial Risk Assessment: Science Provides Guidance on Managing Defendants
Issue Brief-Pretrial Risk Assessment (May 2015).pdf
195.4 KiB

Risk Based Pretrial Release Recommendations & Supervision Guidelines
Risk Based Pretrial Release Rec & Superv Guidelines - Danner, VanNostrand, & Spruance 2015.pdf
2.4 MiB

Developing A National Model For Pretrial Risk Assessment
Developing a National Model for Pretrial Risk Assessment - LJAF 2013.pdf
190.8 KiB

State of the Science of Pretrial Risk Assessment
PJI State of the Science Pretrial Risk Assessment (2011).pdf
419.3 KiB

181.6 KiB

Pretrial Risk Assessment in Virginia
VA Risk Report 2009.pdf
870.5 KiB

The Colorado Pretrial Assessment Tool (CPAT)
CO Pretrial Assessment Tool Report Rev - PJI 2012.pdf
246.6 KiB

Federal Pretrial Risk Assessment Instrument (PTRA)
Federal Pretrial Risk Assessment Instrument (2010).pdf
35.0 KiB

Kentucky Pretrial Risk Assessment Instrument Validation
2010 KY Risk Assessment Study JFA.pdf
538.9 KiB

Identifying the Predictors of Pretrial Failure - A Meta Analysis
Identifying the Predictors of Pretrial Failure - A Meta Analysis (June 2011).pdf
249.3 KiB

Florida Pretrial Risk Assessment Instrument
FL Pretrial Risk Assessment Report (2012).pdf
1.0 MiB

193.4 KiB