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The United States of Risk Assessment: The Machines Influencing Criminal Justice Decisions

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In hands of court or correctional officers, risk and/or needs assessment tools can have a significant impact on the lives of those in the criminal justice system. But whether the impact—such as a harsher or more lenient sentence—was intended or not can sometimes come down to whether an assessment tool was properly used.

For some states, ensuring these instruments are appropriately deployed takes minimal effort. But for others, it can mean extensive training, and constant monitoring, of the court and correctional officers tasked with collecting, interpreting and managing the data required by assessment tools. The difference comes down to not only a state’s preferences, but what resources it has at its disposal and the demands of the particular risk assessment tool in use.

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Rhys Dipshan

CT-born, New York-based legal tech reporter covering everything from in-house technology disruption to privacy trends, blockchain, AI, cybersecurity, and ghosts-in-the-machine. Continually waiting for law to catch up with tech. (It's like waiting for Godot, but without the clowns)

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Victoria Hudgins

I am a reporter for Legaltech News, where I cover national and international cyber regulations and legal tech innovations and developments.

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Frank Ready

Frank Ready is a reporter on the tech desk at ALM Media. He can be reached at [email protected]

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