72 Am. U. L. Rev. F. 133 (2023).

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One proposed reform of the pretrial detention system is the adoption of risk assessment instruments to assist courts in determining who is at risk of reoffending or a flight risk. This Response to Professor Melissa Hamilton’s Article, Modelling Pretrial Detention, proposes that under most circumstances the results of well-validated instruments should not only inform pretrial outcomes but should dictate them, on the ground that such results are more likely to be accurate than judicial decision-making. The Response also provides evidence that this reform would significantly reduce pretrial detention rates and, consistent with Professor Hamilton’s findings, avoid producing racially disparate results.

* Milton Underwood Professor of Law, Vanderbilt University.

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