Alternative Dispute Resolution, Mediation, and Restorative Justice
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Arbitrator will resolve Largo firefighter dispute over cheating - Tampabay.com

Arbitrator will resolve Largo firefighter dispute over cheating - Tampabay.com | Alternative Dispute Resolution, Mediation, and Restorative Justice | Scoop.it
Tampabay.comArbitrator will resolve Largo firefighter dispute over cheatingTampabay.comLARGO — The city is searching for an arbitrator to decide if what five firefighters did to prepare for a test was cheating, after an assistant city manager...
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Alternative Dispute Resolution, Mediation, and Restorative Justice
Expanding the critical perspective of justice to suggest restorative processes and ADR as tools for reparation.
Curated by Rob Duke
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Therapeutic Jurisprudence rising in Japan!

Therapeutic Jurisprudence rising in Japan! | Alternative Dispute Resolution, Mediation, and Restorative Justice | Scoop.it
TJ founder David B. Wexler reflects on his recent visit to the Japan where TJ is being used as a lens for legal system reform... I’ve just returned from Japan, where , on September 1, 2017, I keynoted a fantastic therapeutic jurisprudence (TJ) program. The fact that I returned home to Puerto Rico the night…
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What goes into the algorithm behind New Jersey's bail reform? | Video | NJTV News

What goes into the algorithm behind New Jersey's bail reform? | Video | NJTV News | Alternative Dispute Resolution, Mediation, and Restorative Justice | Scoop.it
Algorithms are increasingly being implemented in a variety of contexts, including New Jersey's new bail system.
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SB 10, bail reform bill, would ruin California’s criminal law system

SB 10, bail reform bill, would ruin California’s criminal law system | Alternative Dispute Resolution, Mediation, and Restorative Justice | Scoop.it
The Eighth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States states: “Excessive bail will not be required, or excessive fines imposed, or cruel and unusua
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Prisoner recaptured after escape from LA reentry program

Prisoner recaptured after escape from LA reentry program | Alternative Dispute Resolution, Mediation, and Restorative Justice | Scoop.it
A prisoner who walked away from a community reentry program in Los Angeles on Sunday was recaptured Tuesday morning, officials said.
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Devin Ryan Johnson's comment, September 19, 12:36 AM
This very common event in my line of work, but the only difference is that the offenders are on probation and or parole. There was one individual that was ordered by the parole board to attend inpatient treatment and walked away. The treatment facility did not even report to us that he had left we heard it from probationer who happened to be in the same facility. We later found out that the individual had been gone for more than 30 days which put him in abscond status.
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Governor wants Alaska Legislature to toughen criminal justice during special session

Gov. Walker says he'll urge lawmakers to approve stiffer penalties for low-level felonies and thefts, reversing parts of the cost-cutting criminal justice law passed last year.
Rob Duke's insight:
We've done this relatively well (compared with California, for one), but we're still seeing a backlash over these new policies....is this the end for alternative or restorative justice?
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J Hovis's comment, September 18, 2:17 AM
Something near the end of the article particularly struck me, "At Walker's news conference, he and other members of his administration couldn't point to direct evidence showing SB 54 would stop the rise in crime, or that SB 91 was fueling it. But Jahna Lindemuth, Walker's attorney general, pointed to the anecdotal testimony before the criminal justice commission, on which she serves. The testimony may not be the same kind of statistical evidence that spurred the first criminal justice bill, she said. But it's still evidence, she added." It baffles me that the legislature, or any governing body, would create something with such real world consequences for people's lives without consideration of impact studies. The equating of anecdotal evidence being equivalent to statistical analysis, or any other type of research or study, is laughable. I doubt members of the legislature go fishing with just any bait or lure.I doubt anyone goes hunting with just any random bullet. I doubt they bake cakes with whatever happens to be in the fridge that might taste good individually (blueberry steak cake is awful) - so why does our legislature enact consequences for people without reasoned analysis? Utterly baffling.
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Harrell signs order directing King County to find alternatives to youth incarceration

Harrell signs order directing King County to find alternatives to youth incarceration | Alternative Dispute Resolution, Mediation, and Restorative Justice | Scoop.it
Bruce Harrell, temporarily serving as Seattle’s mayor, has signed an executive order directing King County to find alternatives to youth incarceration.
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Devin Ryan Johnson's comment, September 19, 12:47 AM
When I was in high school there was a program that we called “The White Program.” This program would take juvenile that was convicted of different crimes, and send them to live in different counties around the state. The juvenile and parents were given the option to participate in the program or go to a dentition facility. The kids that would opt into the program would spend a school year with a foster parent, and then go back home to their parents. If the juvenile was to get into trouble again they would not be allowed to participate in the program and would be sent to a dentition facility or the Florida Youth Challenge program.
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Teen’s Suicide Raises Concerns of School Policies, Child Porn Laws

Teen’s Suicide Raises Concerns of School Policies, Child Porn Laws | Alternative Dispute Resolution, Mediation, and Restorative Justice | Scoop.it
A 16-year-old’s suicide in January has raised questions for both school administrators and law enforcement officials on how to handle possible child pornography crimes involving young students.

The parents of Corey Walgren have sued his school for the way it handled the discovery of a sex video between the teen and a female classmate, reports CNN.

Back in January, Walgren was called into the dean’s office at Naperville North High School to discuss the sex video. Two hours later, Walgren jumped to his death from the top of a five-story parking garage.

Maureen and Doug Walgren have alleged the school traumatized their son by warning him that he could be charged and forced to register as a sex offender for the video. They are seeking $5 million in damages.

“They scared the hell out of the kid, and that’s what drove Corey to kill himself,” says Terry Ekl, the Walgren’s attorney.

Knowledge of the video came after the female classmate who was having sex with Walgren in the video filed a complaint to the school. She had learned about the existence of the video the same day Walgren committed suicide. She says Walgren made the video without her permission.


Related: How Technology Monitoring Keeps Kids Safe
Walgren showed the video to four friends but did not redistribute it. Neither student was visible, but the video’s audio could be heard.
Rob Duke's insight:
Could this case been a candidate for a RJ process?
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J Hovis's comment, September 18, 2:33 AM
This story is crushing in so many ways. I believe laws that were created to punish predatory adults are being used against children. The same children are creating the explicit video and images with technology not even in existence when many of these laws were passed (eg smart phones). Absolutely this is candidate for a RJ process.
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ESSAY: Restorative Healing and Justice, Together – Pagosa Daily Post News Events & Video for Pagosa Springs Colorado

“Even if you’re the one charged, you will help create the answer.”

And with that promise, the court had come to order.

The speaker is Colleen Sheehan, the presiding judge of the Restorative Justice Community Court, which opened last week in the Chicago neighborhood of North Lawndale, after several years of intense planning.

This new court – this utterly new idea about the administration, and meaning, of “justice” – is part of the Cook County Circuit Court system, launched as a two-year pilot project with the help of a $200,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice. It is also, in the eyes of the many people who have helped to make this court a reality, the beginning of something extraordinary: a movement away from punishment-based judicial proceedings to a system based on . . . healing.

But what does that even mean? The prevailing cynicism has walled itself off from the possibility of such change. The opening of this new court was barely noticed: a dozen or so visitors sat at the edge of the proceedings, as Judge Sheehan – a juvenile court judge, a member of the judicial system for 17 years – gave a brief summation of how the court works.

I begin by noting that the system is voluntary. Both victim (if there is one) and defendant must choose to be a part of this process, which involves, in lieu of traditional court proceedings, the convening of a peace circle, or a series of peace circles, in which all those impacted by the crime, including members of the community where it occurred, are given the chance to talk about how the incident affected them. This is not a simple process – it is definitely not “assembly line” justice. A trained circle keeper maintains the integrity of the circle(s), which must be safe and confidential, a place where all participants feel free to talk and where their words are heard and honored.

Ultimately, the participants come up with a “Repair of Harm Agreement”: a legal document describing the steps the defendant must take to repair the damage he or she caused. Once they’re met, the case is dismissed. There’s no “criminal record,” which often amounts to lifelong entrapment in the prison-industrial system, especially for men and women of color who are residents of impoverished communities like North Lawndale.

The revolutionary nature of this new court, to my mind, pulses in Judge Sheehan’s brief summation of the process: “Even if you’re the one charged, you will help create the answer.”

The defendant is a participant in the process!

This is a radical shift in our understanding of justice. In a conventional court, justice is an adversarial process: Judgment comes from on high and the role of the defendant is to shut up and obey. In Restorative Justice Community Court, there is a larger, more complex understanding of the context in which crime occurs and all participants have a say in how to heal its wounds.

A punishment-based system singles out bad guys and pretends that inflicting retributive pain on someone who has caused harm somehow fixes things – and, indeed, that the only “interest” involved is the state’s. “Low-income neighborhoods in America’s major cities are being torn apart not just by crime but by justice,” I wrote a year ago, as the planning process for this new court was getting underway. But Restorative Justice “seeks to create and expand trust between people, not just pass judgment on wrongdoers and shrug as neighborhoods go to hell.”

In a PBS interview several years ago, Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow, described the impact this dysfunctional system has on young people: “Maybe they were stopped and searched and caught with something like weed in their pocket. Maybe they got into a fight at school, and instead of having a meeting with a counselor, having intervention with a school psychologist, having parental and community support, instead of all that, you got sent to a detention camp. Suddenly you’re treated like a criminal, like you’re worth nothing. You’re no good and will never be anything but a criminal, and that’s where it begins.”

This has got to change. And change is never simple. But maybe there was a beginning last week in North Lawndale.
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Teen made nude image threats after break-up

Teen made nude image threats after break-up | Alternative Dispute Resolution, Mediation, and Restorative Justice | Scoop.it
THE broken-hearted former boyfriend of a 15-year-old school girl threatened to release nude photos of her when they broke up.
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Rachel Nichols's comment, September 18, 1:06 AM
It is so sad that this is even a thing. All I want to say is that you should not send nude pictures. To anyone! It does not matter if you are “in love” with them because, especially at the young age of 15, you have no clue what love is. I recall a story of a young woman who sent nude pictures to a boyfriend and forgot about them until years later when she was graduating with a Law degree and the pictures were leaked. She would not be hired on at any law firm because of this and at that point in time, her life was ruined. I don’t know what happened after the fact, but girls need to be smarter and the type of relationships that need nude pictures to last should be avoided at all cost. Another fun fact, snap chat saves every picture posted or sent in its data base, so be wise while using that app.
J Hovis's comment, September 18, 2:45 AM
I don't think the onus should ever be on the individual for others to not misuse their body or property. Even if it was the case no one should ever send a nude picture to anyone else that still would not absolve, justify, or excuse those individuals seeking to harm others by disseminating such content. We need to move away from telling victims what they should not have done or could do differently. Just like with consent, It's not a woman or a man's responsibility to say no, it is everyone's responsibility to obtain a yes. There is nothing inherently wrong with sexting just as there is nothing inherently wrong with flirting or being infatuated with someone else. The problem is the misuse of a person's body against their will.
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Chicago Block Patrolled By Moms Goes Two Years Without a Fatal Shooting

Chicago Block Patrolled By Moms Goes Two Years Without a Fatal Shooting | Alternative Dispute Resolution, Mediation, and Restorative Justice | Scoop.it
A group of Chicago mothers who have been patrolling a two-block stretch of South Stewart Avenue in the city’s Englewood neighborhood are celebrating three summers without a fatal shooting. “We’re doing better than most neighborhoods in Chicago and we’re definitely doing better than most areas in Englewood,” Tamar Manasseh, a mother of two who grew …
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Criminal Justice Reform Push Losing Momentum | PublicCEO

Criminal Justice Reform Push Losing Momentum | PublicCEO | Alternative Dispute Resolution, Mediation, and Restorative Justice | Scoop.it

Criminal Justice Reform Push Losing Momentum
POSTED BY : CAL WATCHDOGSEPTEMBER 1, 2017
By Chris Reed.

Not only has it been a disappointing year for the lawmakers and civic leaders behind the recent push for sweeping reforms of California’s criminal justice system, their achievements are under harsh fire in Los Angeles County.

Last December, Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Oakland, and state Sen. Bob Hertzberg, D-Los Angeles, proposed to largely scrap cash bail on the grounds that it wasn’t essential to getting people to show up for their trials, was destructive of individuals’ lives and would sharply reduce costs and crowding at county jails. But while one of the two related bills the lawmakers introduced passed the Senate on mostly party lines, the other stalled on the Assembly floor, only getting 35 votes in support. The bail bonds industry has strong relationships with both parties, especially in urban areas where bail bond agents are often significant donors.

On Friday, Gov. Jerry Brown and Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye announced their support for the measure – but for review and passage in 2018, not the remaining few days of the current legislative session.
Rob Duke's insight:
Too much. Too fast. With too little forethought.  Pushed forward due to the Great Recession and the 3-judge Federal Court panel that simply decreed that the California system would go from 160k prisoners to 113k in mere months....

I hope we don't abandon the move to restoration over one poorly planned example....
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Victim gets apology after rapist pens 'horrifying' letter to her from behind bars

Victim gets apology after rapist pens 'horrifying' letter to her from behind bars | Alternative Dispute Resolution, Mediation, and Restorative Justice | Scoop.it

CHRISTEL YARDLEY/STUFF
The woman (pictured) who Edward Ross Smith wrote to says she has been left traumatised by his letter.

Corrections has apologised after a serial child sex offender was allowed to write to one of his victims from prison.

The victim, now in her 20s, was sexually abused by Edward Ross Smith between the ages of five and 10.

In a letter sent from Whanganui Prison last month, Smith told the woman he knew she was struggling to move on with her life and he wanted to help her.
Rob Duke's insight:
I've had concerns about sending some letters of apology...this seems like a textbook case for caution.
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Austyn Hewitt's comment, September 16, 7:29 PM
This man should not have had contact with his victim. I get that closure was the goal but it showed he just wanted to get in contact with her again and seemed rude in the letter. Corrections should have checked who he was writing but with all of the inmates there they lost track of who he was talking to. This incident seemed like a bad incident that slipped through the cracks and as a result it really devastated the victim.
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One State's Bail Reform Exposes the Promise and Pitfalls of Tech-Driven Justice

One State's Bail Reform Exposes the Promise and Pitfalls of Tech-Driven Justice | Alternative Dispute Resolution, Mediation, and Restorative Justice | Scoop.it

Judge Ernest Caposela was one of the early advocates of the use of risk assessment tools for bail reform in New Jersey.ISSIE LAPOWSKY/WIRED
JAQUAN LUGO STOOD stone-faced and somber inside a circular, wood-paneled courtroom on a Thursday afternoon in Paterson, New Jersey, as Superior Court Judge Donna Gallucio considered her options.
Just four days prior, the 22-year-old and two other men were arrested in Paterson, accused of six counts of attempted murder and various gun charges after a predawn drive-by shooting left a 17-year-old girl with a life-threatening wound near her lung. An off-duty officer heard the shots just a few blocks away and gave chase to the fleeing vehicle, a 2002 Jaguar, as someone inside the car fired back at him. Lugo and two of the car’s other occupants—Kashief Davis, 24, and Andre Green, 20—allegedly got out of the car and tried to escape on foot before they were caught and brought to Passaic County Jail.
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Boston College students attacked with acid in France offer forgiveness

Boston College students attacked with acid in France offer forgiveness
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What Recent CA Crime Stats Show After Passage of Prop 47 - Crime Voice

What Recent CA Crime Stats Show After Passage of Prop 47 - Crime Voice | Alternative Dispute Resolution, Mediation, and Restorative Justice | Scoop.it
SACRAMENTO – In 2014 60% of California voters (4.2 million citizens) passed Proposition 47 and re-categorized certain nonviolent crimes from felonies into misdemeanors. 2.8 million voted “no ” on the
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Keeping mentally ill in treatment an elusive goal

Keeping mentally ill in treatment an elusive goal | Alternative Dispute Resolution, Mediation, and Restorative Justice | Scoop.it
STOCKTON — Judge Richard Vlavianos sees it far too often: disturbed individuals who go through a revolving door of mental health services only to be arrested and placed back in jail.It’s a complicated issue that must be resolved to end a vicious cycle, Vlavianos says. A recent case involving a woman with severe mental and substance abuse problems epitomizes the problem, says the judge.The woman is not alone. Other clients with mental problems have endured similar situations, said
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Juneau takes a novel approach to dealing with chronic shoplifters

Shoplifting is up 40 percent in Juneau over the last year, a problem, authorities say, driven at least in part by substance abuse. City attorneys say prosecuting people is a toothless, fruitless exercise with virtually no consequences.

So, starting this month, a group of 40 to 50 repeat shoplifters will be offered a chance to get dismissal of the misdemeanor criminal case against them if they work with a caseworker on improving their lives. They will also have to pay restitution.
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Strengthening democracy through restorative practice – empathy, power and a sense of self

This blog is the first of a new RJC blog series highlighting how restorative practice connects with some of the big themes of the day. In this first blog of the series, the RJC’s interim chief executive, Chris Straker, reflects on the links between democracy and restorative practice. Tomorrow is International Day of Democracy, with a theme of ‘democracy and conflict prevention’. This provides a perfect opportunity to reflect on the vital, but often overlooked, role of restorative practice in strengthening democratic involvement.
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Change the system by being a part of it

Change the system by being a part of it | Alternative Dispute Resolution, Mediation, and Restorative Justice | Scoop.it
Charlie and Pauline Sullivan, both close to 80 and as agile as ever, believe in getting around. They estimate that since coming to Washington from Texas in 1985 they have covered over 1,000 mile
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#abq4ward: Restorative justice could make a difference for children in school

#abq4ward: Restorative justice could make a difference for children in school | Alternative Dispute Resolution, Mediation, and Restorative Justice | Scoop.it
Children are the future of Albuquerque. They will be policy makers, taxpayers and even have a say in how people live their lives. A good education is paramount to set them up for success. 

However, the state has the worst graduation rate in the country. But what if that could change that by examining how kids in schools are disciplined?  Maybe the solution could lie in two words: restorative justice.

"It's a way to look at discipline without actually kicking kids out of school,” Kristine Meurer, the executive director for the Student Family and Community Supports Division at Albuquerque Public Schools.
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Province pushing for increased use of restorative justice

Province pushing for increased use of restorative justice | Alternative Dispute Resolution, Mediation, and Restorative Justice | Scoop.it
The Nova Scotia government has tasked a committee with determining how to increase usage of an adult restorative justice program.
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Lecture:

Lecture: | Alternative Dispute Resolution, Mediation, and Restorative Justice | Scoop.it
Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters challenges graduate and undergraduate students in the liberal arts to ask the great questions as they pursue their intellectual passions in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.
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Austyn Hewitt's comment, September 16, 7:06 PM
As a Catholic I was interested to read this post. I agree with Fr. Kelly that when violence occurs it impacts the community and not just the person who does the violence or the victim. When crimes start I do think it causes more problems for the surrounding people and the community. More violence can happen and this can lead to a more dangerous unsafe community. Having lectures like this, and it doesn't always have to be religious, can help open people up to thinking about violence and try to prevent incidences from happening in the first place instead of trying to fix it after it happens.
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Without prosecutors in the lead, true criminal justice reform won’t happen

Without prosecutors in the lead, true criminal justice reform won’t happen | Alternative Dispute Resolution, Mediation, and Restorative Justice | Scoop.it
Kentucky’s crime continues to decline while incarceration needlessly increases
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Former Public Defender...
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Bill to reduce names on California's sex offender registry shelved

Bill to reduce names on California's sex offender registry shelved | Alternative Dispute Resolution, Mediation, and Restorative Justice | Scoop.it

Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey (Mike Balsamo / Associated Press)
A bill that would have ended lifetime listing of many convicted sex offenders on a public registry was shelved Friday after officials said it could cost tens of millions of dollars to make the change.

State Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey had proposed that the names of those who committed lower-level, nonviolent sex crimes or who are judged to be low risks to reoffend be removed from the registry after 10 or 20 years.

State finance officials said in a report the bill would involve “significant ongoing cost in the tens of millions of dollars" for technology costs.
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Austyn Hewitt's comment, September 16, 7:18 PM
First, I read this and completely disagree with what they have to say. The whole idea seems like a bad idea because 1.) it will cost a lot of money 2.) sex offenders will not have to register anymore if qualified 3.) it takes away the seriousness of one becoming a sex offender. What they are trying to say, which I agree with, is that more serious sex offenders should have to register for the rest of their lives and less serious sex offender can unregister after 10-20 years. I do think that right now that sex offenders should have different requirements for being out in public depending of their crime. With that I still think that all sex offenders need to keep registered for life.
Devin Ryan Johnson's comment, September 19, 1:11 AM
I just want to know why they would even think this is a good idea. By doing this it will take away the seriousness of the many different offenses that fall under this category. A Sex offender (SO) is a SO in my book no matter what the crime is, and they should be monitored as such.
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Risk Assessment: The Devil’s in the Details

Risk Assessment: The Devil’s in the Details | Alternative Dispute Resolution, Mediation, and Restorative Justice | Scoop.it

Vintage cover of Philip K. Dick novel. Illustration by Chris Drumm via Flickr
Judges around the country are using computer-generated algorithms to predict the likelihood that a person will commit crime in the future. They use these predictions to help determine pretrial custody, sentence length, prison security-level, probation, parole, and post-release supervision.

Proponents argue that by replacing the ad-hoc and subjective assessments of judges with sophisticated risk assessment instruments, we can reduce incarceration without affecting public safety.

Critics respond that they don’t want to live in a “Minority Report” state where people are punished for crimes before they are committed—particularly if risk assessments are biased against blacks.
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