Tool to predict recidivism in federal inmates could make more prisoners eligible for early release

Passed in 2018, the First Step Act sought to address re-entry challenges for inmates in the federal prison system. The legislation called for developing an assessment tool to identify inmates for release who had the lowest likelihood of recidivism. A new study assessed how the tool was developed and is used, finding that a greater proportion of inmates could reduce their risk and become eligible for early release over time if they participated in a re-entry program and did not incur infractions. This finding has implications for efforts to reduce prison populations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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