Communicating risk information at criminal sentencing in Pennsylvania: An experimental analysis

R. Barry Ruback, Cynthia A. Kempinen, Leigh A. Tinik, Lauren K. Knoth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This experimental study examined whether actuarial risk information affects decision makers' judgments about recidivism risk, whether the type of presentation makes a difference in judged risk, and whether there are differences in judged risk depending on type of crime. In the study, participants (judges, attorneys, and probation officers in four counties of Pennsylvania) received the actuarial risk score of six offenders in one of three formats, along with the meaning of that score in terms of risk of rearrest within three years. Participants then rated recidivism risk before and after receiving the information. Results indicated that the actuarial risk information significantly reduced risk judgments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-56
Number of pages10
JournalFederal Probation
Volume80
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law

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