Through our interviews, we were able to gather a lot of information about how pretrial RATs are used, in terms of which people are assessed, who does the assessing, and how tools interact with the pretrial process.

Many jurisdictions utilize their RAT to assess all of those accused of a crime, but some jurisdictions only assess those accused of certain types of crimes or with other key inclusions or exclusions. The entity that conducts the assessment also varies greatly, from sheriff’s offices to courts to probation offices. Read more in the Assessed and Assessor section.

Transparency of RAT results also varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, meaning who is able to see the assessment scores and how they may impact a case vary from place to place. Read more in the Transparency section.

RATs are used, and misused, in many ways across the country. For example, each jurisdiction determines at what point in the pretrial process a RAT is implemented. Tools are not always used as they were designed, and judges may not follow tool recommendations. Read more in the Tool Use and Misuse section.