Editorial: Guest editors’ comments: risk assessment and judicial decision making

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Salisbury, Emily J.
Sundt, Jody L.
Boppre, Breanna L.

Salisbury, E. J., Sundt, J., & Boppre, B. (2019). Guest Editors’ Comments: Risk Assessment and Judicial Decision Making. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 46(2), 181–184


Many readers and contributors to Criminal Justice and Behavior (CJB) have been trained on and inculcated into a culture that supports the use of actuarial risk assessment instruments (including ourselves). In fact, much of the hallmark research on offender risk assessment has been published in this journal over the last three decades (e.g., Andrews, Bonta, & Hoge, 1990; Barbaree, Seto, Langton, & Peacock, 2001; Bonta, 2002; Gendreau, Goggin, & Law, 1997; Jesness, 1988; Monahan, 1996; Schwalbe, 2008; Simourd, 2004). Still other scholars firmly caution against the use of risk assessment, arguing it produces biased, unfair inequities based on factors such as race, gender, and financial status (Hannah-Moffat, 2013; Harcourt, 2015; Starr, 2015). As scholars who were formerly part of the CJB editorial team, we felt this journal was an important venue for discussing the risk assessment debate, and to encourage ongoing discourse.

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