By Brad Ray, Assistant Professor
This summer, researchers at the IU Public Policy Institute will begin work with the Indiana Judicial Center on a three-year study of nine counties in Indiana that are implementing a pretrial risk assessment program. The use of pretrial risk assessments is part of a larger movement in the United States toward the use of evidence-based pretrial practices.
Too often, low risk defendants sit in jail simply because they cannot afford bail. While awaiting trial, they face the risk of additional negative outcomes such as job loss, defaulting on payments, or losing pro-social ties within the community. Evidence-based pretrial practices include enacting policies and practices that eliminate unnecessary incarceration while preserving public safety. All nine pilot sites will administer the Indiana Risk Assessment System Pretrial Assessment Tool (IRAS-PAT) as soon as possible after arrest and use the risk assessment results to inform pretrial release decisions. (more…)