For most of our history as a country, the United States incarcerated people at about the same rates as other western democracies do today. In the early 1970s we had the same low crime rate as today, but we now have an incarceration rate five times higher. Indeed, America is now the world’s leading jailer. We lock up more than 2 million people in America, which is more of our own people than any country on Earth. And that does not include another 5 million people who are under the supervision of the correctional system.
Hundreds of thousands of incarcerated people in America have not been convicted of a crime and are solely in jail because they can’t afford their bail. We are criminalizing poverty.
It’s based on the false premise that the justice system is draconian and racially oppressive, and it ignores that most prisoners are in state, not federal, prisons.
Assessments are utilized to determine specific criminal risk factors and needs. They may be used by courts, probation, community corrections, institutional facilities, and can be used to assist with determining pre-trial release, sentencing, supervision intensity, and treatment needed (i.e. cognitive behavioral, mental health, and substance abuse.)