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This presentation will give a description of risk assessment as it is applied in the criminal justice system. The debate will be based on a secret formula employed in the Wisconsin judicial system to forecast a person's chance of committing another crime (Smith, 2016).
There have been claims that materials or techniques utilized in risk assessment should be made more accessible in criminal justice. To some extent, this call is valid because of potential prejudice that could undermine the process's outcome (Tashea, 2017). An open process is critical in guaranteeing that a person can counter any biases that may arise throughout a trial. However, one could also argue that the effectiveness of risk assessment algorithms might be compromised if it is not kept hidden. Therefore, according to this view, keeping risk assessment hidden protects the value of secured tests, which in most cases depend on a person not having prior access to the criteria used in risk assessment (James, 2015).
The other thing that should be done for an opinion to be reached is to create rules that oversee how risk assessment tools are examined during a trial. Though algorithms are neither bad nor good, they are also certainly neutral, therefore, there should be laws governing their use (Fazel, Singh, Doll, & Grann, 2012). Major barriers to doing so include lack of sufficient information on how to administer the assessment tools and potential biases in the justice system (James, 2015).
Finally, the segment of the article where the police confirmed that 50 people out of the 64 that were shot on the memorial day weekend create an impression that risk assessment tools have a moderate level of accuracy. This segment of the article suggests that police and the department of justice have more reasons to use assessment tools to classify wrongdoers. The police statement is also an indication that the rights accorded to citizens by the US constitution are not protected, and that there is reduced importance of safety and security.
Fazel, S., Singh, J. P., Doll, H., & Grann, M. (2012). Use of risk assessment instruments to predict violence and antisocial behavior in 73 samples involving 24 827 people: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ, 345(jul24 2), e4692-e4692. doi:10.1136/bmj.e4692
James, N. (2015). Risk and needs assessment in the criminal justice system (R44087). Retrieved from Congressional Research Service website: www.crs.gov
Smith, M. (2016, June 22). In Wisconsin, a backlash against using data to foretell defendants’ futures. New York Times.
Tashea, J. (2017, March 1). Risk-assessment algorithms challenged in bail, sentencing and parole decisions. Retrieved from: http://www.abajournal.com
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