Communicating Risk Information for Effective Decisionmaking

Brief

Communicating Risk Information for Effective Decisionmaking

Abstract

This brief describes how to effectively communicate information derived from criminal justice risk assessment tools, including both risk level and risk distribution information. We begin by outlining the goals and purpose of effectively communicating about risk assessment practices and results. We then focus on two types of risk information to be communicated, referred to as operational and statistical risk. This dual framework, for instance, allows practitioners to situate an individual’s likelihood of recidivism – such as low, medium, or high – within a relative population base rate of reoffending. Finally, key points and recommendations for effective communication of risk information are summarized.

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