California Voters Reject Proposition to Mandate Pretrial Risk Assessment Use

November 10, 2020

Proposition 25, which would have abolished cash bail in California but replaced it with the mandatory use of controversial pretrial risk assessment tools, was rejected by 56% of the state's voters earlier this month. Pretrial risk assessments attempt to predict the likelihood that a person will fail to appear at trial or be arrested again. Research has shown that these tools reflect and encode biases based on race, age, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. Although pretrial risk assessments are widely used throughout the country and parts of California, Proposition 25 would have mandated their use in the state. EPIC recently published Liberty At Risk, a report on pretrial risk assessment tools, and maintains a resource on algorithms in the criminal justice system.

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