Criminal History and Recidivism Risk: A Multi-Jurisdictional Comparison

December 14, 2017

In many guidelines jurisdictions, criminal history enhancements are partially or primarily employed as proxies for risk prevention. But to date, the question of whether these scores are actually valid predictors of risk has been under-explored. With the exception of the federal guidelines, it appears that most criminal history scores were not empirically generated as recidivism predictors, so it is possible that some guidelines criminal history scores increase punishment for factors that are not related to recidivism. This panel explores three efforts to empirically analyze the risk prediction value of guidelines criminal history scores.


Rhys Hester
Former Research Fellow in Sentencing Law and Policy
Julia Laskorunsky
Research Fellow