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2022 Review and Revalidation of the First Step Act Risk Assessment Tool

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 2023
45 pages

The First Step Act of 2018 (FSA) mandated the development and implementation of a risk and needs assessment system in the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP). The FSA also required that the DOJ review, validate, and publicly release the risk and needs assessment system – PATTERN – on an annual basis. This document is the third review and revalidation report, following NIJ (2021a) and NIJ (2021b). The current report analyzes a subsequent cohort of FY 2018 BOP releases and evaluates PATTERN for its predictive accuracy, dynamic validity, and racial and ethnic neutrality, as mandated by the FSA. It also expands upon the prior analyses by including one-, two-, and three-year recidivism outcomes, assessing what proportion of change in risk scores and levels are influenced by the current age item, and providing additional descriptive information on individual items, risk scores and levels, and outcomes by race and ethnic group. Finally, this report provides an update on actions taken by NIJ and DOJ in the past year and the ongoing efforts to review and improve PATTERN.

Date Published: March 1, 2023