State of the Science of Pretrial Risk Assessment

This publication is designed for a wide-ranging audience of criminal justice stakeholders who have questions about pretrial risk assessment and its value to the pretrial justice process. The first section of this publication provides a brief review of the history and current state of pretrial justice. The second section looks at critical issues related to pretrial release, detention, and risk assessment. The third section discusses challenges to implementing evidence-based risk assessment and threats to reliable administration, including time constraints and practicality of the risk assessment instrument, money bail schedules, local capacity, subjective risk assessment, and court culture and judicial behavior. The fourth section of the document outlines methodological challenges associated with the prediction of risk. The final section provides recommendations for research and practice. We discuss high priority research activities, the potential for a universal risk assessment instrument, and the need for training and technical assistance.
PJI State of the Science Pretrial Risk Assessment (2011).pdf
File Size419.3 KiB
DateMarch 1, 2011