‘No room for human error’: Prince William Co. to launch automated public security evaluation instrument

Prince William County in Virginia is launching a brand new instrument to assist judges decide if an individual can safely be launched again into the group whereas awaiting trial.

WTOP’s Shayna Estulin on Prince William County, Virginia’s new public security evaluation instrument.

When an individual is charged with a criminal offense, it might take months earlier than a trial begins — now, Prince William County in Virginia is making ready to launch a brand new instrument to assist judges decide if the individual can safely be launched again into the group within the meantime.

The Public Safety Assessment (PSA) Tool makes use of 9 elements to weigh the dangers of pretrial launch, together with age, prior felony and/or misdemeanor convictions and if the individual has a historical past of failing to indicate as much as court docket.

According to a press launch, the PSA system is solely automated and has “no room for human error.”

Judicial officers, nevertheless, may take into account outdoors elements, equivalent to employment and psychological well being wants. Prosecutors and protection attorneys can even be allowed to weigh in.

“People who’re launched pending trial have decrease recidivism charges total, and sure, a greater consequence on the trial,” Prince William County Criminal Justice Services Director Steve Austin stated within the launch.

Austin stated the PSA instrument had a predictive success fee starting from 85% to 89% within the roughly 285 jurisdictions the place it’s in use.

He stated it took two years of analysis and discussions with remedy suppliers, social providers, police, prosecutors, judges and protection attorneys, amongst different invested teams, earlier than the instrument was launched.

“We invited stakeholders to varied conferences. We checked out information, and based mostly on these conversations, we determined these areas that we needed to work on to enhance the system,” Austin stated.

The PSA instrument can be being launched in Richmond, Staunton, Waynesboro and Augusta. The Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services will research the info from the pilot program to find out if the instrument must be rolled out throughout the state.

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