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After setbacks, Spokane County abandons custom criminal justice algorithm in favor of simpler tool

Spokesman-Review: Spokane County is adopting a new computer algorithm designed to help judges decide which defendants should remain in jail, abandoning a more costly, custom-developed program that was hampered by technical and logistical problems.

Developed by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation and available for free to any jurisdiction that wants to use it, the Public Safety Assessment is expected to be implemented in Spokane County in the latter half of this year. It’s currently in use statewide in Kentucky, Arizona, New Jersey and Utah, and in counties in at least a dozen other states.

According to an explainer on the Arnold Foundation’s website, the PSA “examines nine factors related to a person’s age, current charge and criminal history and produces two risk scores: one that predicts risk of failure to appear for future court appearances, and a second that predicts risk of committing a new crime if released before trial.”

Read more: http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2019/jan/04/after-setbacks-spokane-county-abandons-custom-crim/

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