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Pretrial Assessment Tool
The Pretrial Assessment Tool (PAT) is designed to inform court actors of the risk of a defendant to either fail to appear at a future court date or to be arrested for a new crime. It also aids in decision-making regarding bail decisions. The PAT is a 7-item assessment selected from four domains found to be related to recidivism: criminal history, employment, residential stability, and substance abuse.
The Pretrial Assessment Tool can be used on a stand-alone basis or as part of the suite of assessments provided in the ORAS (the Ohio Risk Assessment System).
ORAS Final Report and Validation Study, July 2009
Information about the ORAS: The Ohio Risk Assessment System (ORAS) was created by Edward Latessa P.D. and the University of Cincinnati, Center for Criminal Justice Research under a contract with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections to provide assessments at multiple points in the criminal justice system. The tools are in the public domain and are also available, in non-automated form, from UC at no charge upon request.
A major goal of the project was to develop assessments that abided by the principles of effective classification by constructing assessments that: (1) separated offenders into risk groups based on their likelihood to recidivate; (2) identified dynamic risk factors that can be used to prioritize programmatic needs; and (3) identify potential barriers to treatment. The ORAS was also designed to aid in decision-making regarding the allocation of financial, rehabilitation and supervision resources.
The ORAS was created using a prospective design that involved conducting in-depth structured interviews of over 1,800 offenders at the following stages in Ohio’s justice system: pretrial, community supervision, prison intake, and community reentry. After interviews were conducted, offenders were tracked for approximately one year to gather follow-up information on recidivism. Five assessment instruments were created using items that were related to recidivism: the Pretrial Assessment Tool, the Community Supervision Tool, the Community Supervision Screening Tool, the Prison Intake Tool, and the Reentry Tool.
The tools were validated on an Ohio population. Validation involved examining the predictive power of the assessment instruments. The results reveal that all assessment instruments are able to significantly distinguish between risk levels. Further, “r values” are relatively large, and depending upon the assessment instrument, range from .22 to .44. Concurrent validity also was examined by comparing the predictive power of each assessment tool to the LSI-R and the Wisconsin Risk / Needs instruments. These results revealed that the instruments for the Ohio Risk Assessment System performed as well if not better than both of the other instruments.
Notes: by Edward Latessa, Ph.D. and the University of Cincinnati, Center for Criminal Justice Research