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How a North Carolina County Became a ‘Laboratory’ for Bail Reform

In 2014, North Carolina’s Mecklenburg County defied skeptics by adopting a pretrial risk assessment tool aimed at reducing the number of people in jail awaiting trial because they could not afford money bail. Other states should take note, write two reform advocates.


Risk Assessment: Should Youth Be a Factor in Judging ‘Dangerousness’?

Pennsylvania’s Commission on Sentencing is weighing whether to use an offender’s age in determining the likelihood of committing a new crime, for a risk assessment tool due this summer. That flies in the face of recent juvenile justice reforms, such as Supreme Court rulings accepting that adolescents have diminished responsibility, warns a Pennsylvania attorney.


How Race Distorts Risk Assessment for Minority Youth

Tools used by courts to judge whether an individual will re-offend rarely address the specific interaction of race and criminogenic risk, writes a University of Cincinnati researcher. She found that young African Americans have been especially shortchanged.

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Why I Am Not a Recidivist

A Washington State parole board rejected our columnist’s appeal for release from prison for a crime committed when he was a juvenile on the grounds that he had a “moderate to high” likelihood of re-offending. But they appear to have based the decision on a psychological risk assessment tool used to measure adult offenders.