Analyzing the risk

The Colorado Pretrial Assessment Tool uses a formula to weigh the risk of releasing someone from jail while they await trial. While prosecutors say the tool is better than nothing, critics, backed by a study of the tool's effects, say it disproportionately harms people of color and people experiencing homelessness. Risk assessment algorithms consider a number of facts about a defendant's past and present to predict whether they can leave jail without committing new crimes or failing to make court appearances. But because they penalize already-overpoliced populations, they are not considered objective.

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