Recent years have seen a rush towards evidence-based tools in criminal justice. As part of this movement, many jurisdictions have adopted actuarial risk assessment to supplement or replace the ad-hoc decisions of judges. Proponents of risk assessment tools claim that they can dramatically reduce incarceration without harming public safety. Using rich data on more than one million criminal cases, the paper shows that a 2011 law making risk assessment a mandatory part of the bail decision led to a significant change in bail setting practice, but only a small increase in pretrial release.
George Mason Law & Economics Research Paper No. 17-36
68 Pages ●Posted: 29 Aug 2017 ●Last revised: 13 Dec 2017