Race, risk, and re-offending: Are risk assessment instruments fair?

Jennifer Skeem, a Professor at UC Berkeley, and Christopher Lowenkamp, a criminal justice researcher with the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, tested the federal Post Conviction Risk Assessment (PCRA) for racial bias, based on a sample of nearly 35,000 federal probationers.  Their findings indicate that the PCRA strongly and similarly predicts recidivism for both black and white probationers, even though the two groups obtain modestly different PCRA scores.  The authors unpack issues related to fairness, in an era when risk assessment technology is being used to scaffold efforts to safely unwind mass incarceration.  

See the press release here.

See the Criminology article here.