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The project was funded by the Public Welfare Foundation (site |twitter).

The Riverside County Probation Department (RCPD) chose to implement the Virginia Pretrial Risk Assessment Instrument (VPRAI) as a way to increase rates of release on own-recognizance and inform judicial release decisions. After training and policy development, the assessment was integrated into Riverside’s electronic data system before being used by officers. Integration into the data system allowed for the collection of data for use in a validation, and allowed RCPD managers to compile monthly ‘management measures’ which examined the pretrial system in aggregate. RCPD also created a pretrial supervision unit as a way to release moderate risk defendants.

In late 2015, CJI, consultant Brian Lovins, and the RCPD conducted a validation study of the VPRAI. The results indicated that the VPRAI was functioning well, but could be improved slightly. The new tool, the Riverside Pretrial Risk Assessment Instrument (RPRAI), was created by individually examining the items on the VPRAI as well as a number of other potential risk factors that Riverside was collecting to determine the best predictors of pretrial failure. Additional analysis was done to ensure the items worked well together and were not measuring the same thing. The RPRAI includes five items and sorts defendants into three distinct risk groups based on the total score. The revised tool predicted slightly better and separated defendants into risk levels, especially gender and racial subsets, than the original VPRAI.

Click here to read the Riverside County Technical Assistance Report.

Click here to read the VPRAI Validation Report.