The PSA is a research-based risk assessment that helps judges make more informed pretrial decisions. It uses a person’s criminal history and court and administrative records to predict risk of failing to appear in court and risk of committing a new crime—including a violent crime—if released before trial.

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.

There are certain minimum requirements that a jurisdiction must have in place before it can successfully adopt the PSA. Readiness depends on the following:

  • a commitment by key stakeholders to use the PSA to inform decisions
  • the availability of data to score the PSA’s nine risk factors
  • the capacity to integrate the PSA application
  • the availability of staff to score and complete 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.