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Myth vs. Fact: Risk and Need Assessments in the Criminal Justice System

This “Myths & Facts” package includes a one-page summary and research-based supporting document to help dispel three specific myths regarding the use of risk and need assessments within the criminal justice system. The Community Corrections Collaborative Network (CCCN), of which NADCP is a member, believes that risk and need assessments currently provide the most accurate, objective prediction of the risk to recidivate. While risk and need assessments do not predict with perfect accuracy, they guide practitioners in the field towards the most accurate and equitable decisions available for safely managing justice-involved individuals.

Joint Statement in Support of Use of Risk Assessment Instruments

Statement by the American Council of Chief Defenders, Gideon’s Promise, the National Association for Public Defense, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the National Legal Aid and Defenders Association strongly endorsing and call for the use of validated pretrial risk assessment in all jurisdictions, as a necessary component of a fair pretrial release system that reduces unnecessary detention and eliminates racial bias

The Cost of Buying Freedom: Strategies for Cash Bail Reform and Eliminating Systemic Injustice

The report’s analysis and findings are based on information from legal research, conversations with a range of criminal justice stakeholders within and outside Pennsylvania, and conversation with community members who have been directly affected by Pennsylvania’s cash bail system.


Recently Added:

San Diego County jails make changes to mentally ill inmates, curb suicides

“For decades, jails throughout the state have operated as de facto mental health facilities, a trend that intensified in recent years after California changed its laws to keep some offenders out of the state’s overcrowded prison system. In San Diego County, where there were 12 inmate suicides in 2014 and 2015, Sheriff Bill Gore and his staff have been working to improve mental health services at the county jails to prevent more deaths.”

California: Assembly Judiciary Committee wants a working group to look at how to get more information out to voters about judicial elections, posting judicial decisions online

Too Scared to Report Sexual Abuse. The Fear: Deportation
Domestic violence has always been a notoriously difficult crime to prosecute. It often takes victims years to seek help, and they frequently have to be persuaded to testify against their assailants. And for many undocumented victims, taking that step has become exceedingly difficult because of fears that the government will detain and deport them if they press charges, according to law enforcement officials, lawyers and advocates from across the country.

Taser will use police body camera videos “to anticipate criminal activity”

“We’ve got all of this law enforcement information with these videos, which is one of the richest treasure troves you could imagine for machine learning,” Taser CEO Rick Smith told PoliceOne in an interview about the company’s AI acquisitions. “Imagine having one person in your agency who would watch every single one of your videos — and remember everything they saw — and then be able to process that and give you the insight into what crimes you could solve, what problems you could deal with. Now, that’s obviously a little further out, but based on what we’re seeing in the artificial intelligence space, that could be within five to seven years.”


From the latest The Crime Report (Center on Media, Crime, and Justice at John Jay College –

Criminology Leaders Assail Trump for “Uninformed Policy Initiatives”

The nation’s leading academic group of criminologists says the administration has ignored “well-established science” in its tough-on-crime moves and crackdown on immigration. The statement by the American Society of Criminology board was the toughest criticism in recent memory of a sitting president, writes TCR’s Ted Gest

Big Brother Online: Policing and the Cloud

Government agencies, including law enforcement, are able to access more of our personal data stored online than ever before. Christopher Slobogin, a Vanderbilt Law School professor, says it’s time to develop a “21st century framework” for stronger privacy protection.

Whatever Happened to National Reentry Week?

Barack Obama inaugurated it last April to mark the emerging bipartisan consensus that the incarcerated deserve a “second chance.” But our investigation suggests that hardliners in the Trump administration have shrugged it off, writes TCR’s Adam Wisnieski.


The Sentencing Project has produced a report on Immigration and Public Safety.  Here is the link.


NBER:  Occasionally there are articles from the National Bureau for Economic Research (NBER) that focus on criminal justice issues.  One recent article was entitled: Comparing Apples to Oranges: Differences in Women’s and Men’s Incarceration and Sentencing Outcomes by Kristin F. Butcher, Kyung H. Park, and Anne Morrison Piehl (NBER Working Paper #23079).

There are fees for receiving pdf versions unless you are a subscriber, which includes those with emails having a .gov domain.  Many universities have subscriptions as well.  The NBER website for further information is:

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