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Practitioner Perceptions of the Use and Utility of Pretrial Risk Assessment: Focus Group Analysis

Volume 84 Number 3
December 2020

In the current study, focus groups were conducted across six participating counties in a Midwestern state to gather input from judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, pretrial practitioners, and other criminal justice stakeholders regarding their perceptions of the use and utility of a statewide pretrial risk assessment tool. Focus group questions pertained to stakeholder perceptions of a pretrial risk assessment tool, how it is utilized, and how it could be improved. Results indicate that stakeholders have differing viewpoints about the overall purpose and effectiveness of risk assessment.