1. What is the PSA?

    Judges, attorneys, lawmakers and community leaders across the United States are working to create a fairer, more efficient criminal justice system for all defendants. The Public Safety Assessment is a pretrial risk assessment that provides judges with reliable and neutral information about defendants at the very start of a criminal proceeding. Judges use this data to inform their release decisions.

    How it works

    The PSA examines nine factors based on a person’s age, current charge, and criminal history to produce two risk scores: one that predicts risk of failure to appear for future court appearances, and a second that predicts risk of committing a new crime if released before trial. The PSA calculates its scores on a scale of one to six, with higher scores indicating a higher level of risk. The risk assessment also indicates an elevated risk of committing a new violent crime. The release decision always rests with the judge, but the PSA results can help inform the judge’s decision making.

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  2. Map: PSA Sites

    Dozens of jurisdictions in the United States have adopted the PSA, including the states of Arizona, Kentucky, and New Jersey, and some of the largest cities in the country, such as Phoenix, Chicago, and Houston.

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  3. Am I ready?

    There are certain minimum requirements that a jurisdiction must have in place before it can successfully adopt the PSA. The Guide to PSA Readiness and the PSA Readiness Checklist introduce the technical and operational aspects of the PSA. These guides will help criminal justice leaders determine whether the PSA is the right assessment for their jurisdiction.

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