The Leadership Conference Education Fund: The Use of Pretrial “Risk Assessment Instruments”

“For decades we’ve been told that we can fix bias in the system with science. But sentencing guidelines, predictive policing, body worn cameras, have all led to more bias in the system and a mass criminalization of Black, Brown, and poor people. We can end money bail and send far more people home without risk assessments – and give anyone who might lose their freedom a chance to fight for it in a fully blown hearing. But if you’re going to put risk assessments into the movement to end money bail, then we demand power over them – that they are transparent, that we get proof that they are being used to send more people home, and that they truly reduce racial disparities, rather than being satisfied with the totally unacceptable status quo.”– Hannah Sassaman, policy director of the Media Mobilizing Project and a Soros Justice Fellow focusing on risk assessment in pretrial decisionmaking

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