A Primer on Risk Assessment for Legal Decisionmakers

33 Pages Posted: 19 Apr 2021

Date Written: April 14, 2021


This primer is addressed to judges, parole board members, and other legal decisionmakers
who use or are considering using the results of risk assessment instruments (RAIs) in
making determinations about post-conviction dispositions, as well as to legislators and
executive officials responsible for authorizing such use. It is meant to help these decisionmakers
determine whether a particular RAI is an appropriate basis for legal determinations and
whether evaluators who rely on an RAI have done so properly. This primer does not take a
position on whether RAIs should be integrated into the criminal process. Rather, it provides
legal decision-makers with information about how RAIs are constructed and the types of
information they provide, with the goal of facilitating their intelligent selection and use.

Keywords: risk assessment, sentencing, judicial decisionmaking, recidivism

Suggested Citation

Slobogin, Christopher, A Primer on Risk Assessment for Legal Decisionmakers (April 14, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3826351 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3826351

Christopher Slobogin (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University - Law School ( email )

131 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203-1181
United States

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