PATTERN – The First Step Act's Evolving Risk Assessment Tool

A key pillar of the First Step Act, a bipartisan federal criminal reform bill signed into law in December 2018, was the creation of a risk and needs assessment tool for federal prisoners.  In July 2019, the Department of Justice first published this tool, the Prisoner Assessment Tool Targeting Estimated Risk and Needs (“PATTERN”) and began using it to place prisoners in recidivism reduction programming and award certain benefits. This webinar discusses the origins of PATTERN as well as the many questions that remain about its design and implementation, including during the COVID-19 pandemic.