NotesVolume 7, Issue 1 (2016)

Risky Business: Critiquing Pennsylvania’s Actuarial Risk Assessment in Sentencing

Jessica Corey

J.D. Candidate 2017, Columbia Law School. B.A. 2013, Furman University
Citation:7 COLUM. J. RACE & L. 150 (2016)


The use of statistical risk assessment tools is growing in many different areas of the criminal justice field.  This Note critiques this growing trend towards using risk assessment tools during the sentencing phase.  Part II of this Note will survey the differing types of risk assessment tools used across the United States to track the development of risk under the assessment protocol standards of the criminal justice systems.  Part III will review the current criticisms on actuarial risk assessment.  Part IV will outline the proposed risk assessment tool Pennsylvania is currently developing.  Finally, Part V will weigh Pennsylvania’s model against the criticisms of actuarial risk assessment discussed in Part II.