Documents Obtained by EPIC show Idaho’s Use of Subjective Categories in Calculating Risk

December 11, 2019

In response to EPIC's Public Record Request, the Idaho Department of Correction released several documents about its risk assessment instrument, the "Level of Service Inventory-Revised" (LSI-R). Revealed in an annotated scoresheet that informs the LSI-R's calculation, the Idaho Department of Corrections uses several subjective categories to calculate an offender's risk and recidivism rate–including information about the alleged criminality of a defendant's social network, participation in leisurely activity, and mental health. EPIC also obtained a detailed scoring guide, LSI-R training materials, validation studies, and contract details. Only two validation studies were produced, and they were thirteen years apart. EPIC has obtained documents about pre-trial risk assessments as well as a scoring system developed by the DHS to assign risk assessments to travelers, including US citizens. EPIC has urged government agencies to make transparent algorithmic-based decision making.

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