A cautionary note on the use of actuarial risk assessment tools for social control

Eric Silver, Lisa L. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations

Abstract

Actuarial risk assessment tools for predicting interpersonal violence and criminal recidivism have proliferated in recent years, promising to enhance their use in the day-to-day operations of the criminal justice and mental health systems. The authors consider the social and political implications of using actuarial tools for social control by offering two specific challenges. First, they argue that actuarial tools are designed primarily to facilitate the efficient management of institutional resources rather than to target individuals or social conditions in need of reform. Second, they argue that the group-based nature of actuarial prediction methods may contribute to the continued marginalization of populations already at the fringes of the economic and political mainstream.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)138-161
Number of pages24
JournalCrime and Delinquency
Volume48
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2002
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Law
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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