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More sentencing links

Following up on our post from earlier this week, here are some more links to sentencing issues of interest to Wisconsin practitioners.

On the actuarial risk assessment instrument front, we recommend a paper called “The Accuracy, Equity, and Jurisprudence of Criminal Risk Assessment,” by Sharad Goal, Ravi Shroff, Jennifer Skeem, and Christopher Slobogin. It discusses: the relative accuracy of actuarial risk assessment compared to gut-level, seat-of-the-pants, “I’ve been sentencing people for a lot of years” kind of human judgment; the potential problems arising from the biases and unfairness the instruments reflect; and the legal system’s “casual approach” to the use of risk assessment, with a particularly interesting discussion of the flaws in how State v. Loomis addressed the use of the COMPAS—which might provide some litigators with ideas for challenging sentencing proceedings as we know them. All in all an interesting and succinct report on the topic.

Plus, another report detailing what’s happening in Wisconsin sentencing, this one dealing with community supervision. “The Wisconsin Community Corrections Story,” by Jarred Williams, Vincent Schiraldi, and Kendra Bradner, and published but he Columbia University Justice Lab, compares Wisconsin’s population on probation and “parole” (or extended supervision) to the populations in other states, how Truth-in-Sentencing affected those numbers, and how those numbers have translated to higher prison populations and greater racial disparity. Take a look!

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