House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee Members
I am writing to you regarding the PRAISTX risk assessment tool to express my specific concerns about the tool. In my opinion the tool is not ready for prime time. The tool evaluates two risks. The first is the risk that the defendant will fail to appear. The second is the risk to public safety or the risk that the defendant will reoffend. I have concerns about both of these risks in the way that they will be calculated under the PRAISTX tool.
On the risk that the defendant will fail to appear, there is no database currently tracking failures to appear and HB 20 does not propose tracking them on a go forward basis. Therefore, the major sources for this information will be the defendant and if the defendant fails to appear, the defendant will likely not admit that he failed to appear. Therefore, the tool will always underscore the risk that the defendant will fail to appear.
On the risk to public safety or that the defendant will reoffend, the risk assessment tool currently does not take into consideration the defendants entire criminal history. Instead, the bill only considers a limited portion of the criminal history. This is contrary to the remainder of the bill that requires the judge to consider the criminal history before setting bail.
Since PRAISTX is not ready for "prime time," I am asking you to vote against HB 20.
Call to Action No. 3