Racial Equity and Criminal Justice Risk Assessment

Brief

Racial Equity and Criminal Justice Risk Assessment

Abstract

Risk assessment tools have recently been called into question for their potential to exacerbate disparities in the justice system. This brief provides a set of considerations for the use of risk assessment tools in criminal justice settings beset by historical and persistent racial and ethnic disparities. It begins with an overview on criminal justice risk assessment before describing both the primary concerns and potential advantages of using these tools to promote transparency and accountability in the administration of justice. It concludes with some potential strategies to reduce racial and ethnic disparity in the development and use of risk assessments, and highlights the need for agreed upon standards for risk assessment.

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