When a person is brought to jail, the staff there complete a risk assessment with scores from 0-6. The higher the score, the more of a risk that person is considered to be. Currently, inmates are released when the jail reaches it’s 230 bed capacity, and inmates are released based on their risk assessment score. It looks at their likelihood to appear in court, or reoffend, as well as their general risk to the public. Now, an SOU professor is volunteering his time to gather inmate data and assess the current system.
“Maybe age will be more of a factor than it has been, or failure to appear will carry more weight,” Captain Dan Penland says, “there will be another conversation with the criminal justice system to decide ‘what do we want to focus on now, what can we tweak to make it better for everybody?'”
It is a lengthy process though, in 2015 more than 12,000 people were lodged in the Jackson County Jail, and this assessment aims to look at a good majority of the cases. For more information on the assessment tool click HERE.