More and more courts are utilizing risk assessment tools to inform bail and sentencing decisions. These programs incorporate a range of data based on questions answered regarding each defendant.
In Colorado, when someone has been charged with a crime, the court will generate a Pre-Sentence Investigation (PSI) report, listing information such as current charges, prior convictions, work history, marital status, financial status, educational background, substance abuse history and sentencing recommendations.
It will also include an LSI (Level of Service Inventory) Report—a document that ranks the defendant’s risk of recidivism within one year as low, medium or high.
“It’s difficult to tell how much this risk score is used in sentencing decisions,” says Tom Ward, a Denver criminal defense attorney. “I don’t hear judges talking about it at hearings.”
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