Immigration Detention in the Risk Classification Assessment Era

37 Pages Posted: 10 Nov 2016

Date Written: November 7, 2016


This article provides the first empirical analysis of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (“ICE’s”) new computerized “risk assessment tool” for making custody decisions. The article analyzes risk assessment decisions by ICE’s Baltimore Field Office, by examining decision summaries containing detailed criminal, immigration, and family histories, gained from records and intake interviews. It provides a first take on whether risk assessment can viably reconcile “tough and humane enforcement.” The data set consists of almost six hundred risk assessment summaries from ICE’s Baltimore FOD databases, from approximately March to July 2013, concurrent with ICE’s March 2013 announcement that ICE nationally deployed risk assessment.

Keywords: immigration detention, risk, mandatory detention

Suggested Citation

Koulish, Robert, Immigration Detention in the Risk Classification Assessment Era (November 7, 2016). Connecticut Public Interest Law Journal, Vol. 16, No. 1, 2016, Available at SSRN:

Robert Koulish (Contact Author)

University of Maryland ( email )

College Park, MD 20742
United States
301-405-3175 (Phone)

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