Sean Hosman is a leading voice in the push to transform the justice system by predicting which criminals will commit crimes again, reports the Associated Press. Hosman, 48, is a repeat offender himself, whose trips in and out of jail provide a case study of the movement he helps lead. Hosman is CEO of Assessments.com, a Utah firm with about 100 contracts with state and county governments nationwide. He has been a frequent visitor to county jails in his home state of Utah and elsewhere. Since 2010, he has been arrested at least nine times, including for DUI and cocaine possession.
Like tens of thousands of defendants undergoing risk assessment, he has been booked, assessed, jailed and sent to rehab. Hosman’s company is a player in a movement that has had little public attention. Most states use some form of risk assessment, which includes questionnaires that use issues beyond criminal history to help set treatment or sentencing conditions. Advocates say the tools replace gut instincts with hard data, saving money by routing low-risk offenders from prison. The AP found: Assessments work only if every other piece of the system does, too. If defendants fudge the truth, or probation officials do not check facts, the tools can prove meaningless. Critics say assessments can punish people for poverty, taking into account factors such as work history and family background.