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Review and Revalidation of the First Step Act Risk Assessment Tool

Award Information

Award #
GS-00F-219CA DJO-NIJ-16-G-0127 FSA1
Funding Category
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2020, $48,100)

This response proposes an analytic strategy for fulfilling the mandates of the Fair Sentencing Act of 2018 to review and revalidate the risk and needs assessment tool, PATTERN. The FSA mandates the US Attorney General to review and revalidate PATTERN annually for five years following implementation. This response proposes three main pillars for fulfilling the mandate. First, drawing on emerging best practices from multiple disciplines, the project team would perform annual validations of PATTERN. These would include examinations of both calibration and discrimination, with the examination of PATTERN discrimination including important metrics like Positive Predictive Values and Negative Predictive Values in addition to the common Area Under the Curve statistics. Second, the project team would perform statistical examinations of race neutrality, again following the state-of-the-art procedures in the social sciences, which involve examination of AUCs but also Form of the Relationship tests. Third, the project would include review in addition to revalidation, pursuant to FSA directive that the Attorney General consider updates and improvements to the initially designed RNA System. The project team would accordingly test for any potential adjustments to pattern as identified in consultation with the BOP, Independent Review Committee, and other stakeholders.

Date Created: January 20, 2021