Sentencing Posts

Federal Criminal Risk Assessment

Risk assessments are a common feature of federal decisionmaking across a wide variety of areas of regulation. Perhaps the most widely used definition describes risk assessment as “the process of using risk factors to estimate the likelihood (i.e., probability) of an outcome occurring in a population.”

Making Drunk Sex a Crime: Why a New Push to ‘Close a Loophole’ Would Actually Establish a Troubling New Legal Regime

As part of this year’s state of the state agenda, Gov. Cuomo announced sweeping changes to the criminal laws governing intoxicated sex. He has not characterized these reforms as radical but as merely “closing a loophole” in the rape laws, to make it so that not only involuntarily but voluntarily intoxicated people are unable to consent to sexual activity.

Risk and Resources: A Qualitative Perspective on Low-Level Sentencing in Virginia

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Virginia’s sentencing guidelines include alternative sanctions based on the use of a quantitative instrument called the Nonviolent Risk Assessment (NVRA) that identifies individuals convicted of drug and property crimes that are considered to be at lower risk of recidivism. In this study, the authors explore how judges make use of the NVRA instrument when sentencing individuals convicted of low‐level drug and property crimes.