Dr. Rosalyn Cooperman
Dr. Stephen Farnsworth
Department Chair or Program Director
Dr. John Kramer
Bachelor of Liberal Studies
Major or Concentration
Department or Program
Political Science and International Affairs
This research is a critical analysis of criminal justice policy in Virginia, specifically, the use of the Virginia Pretrial Risk Assessment Instrument (VPRAI), a computer application designed to help judges make objective pretrial detention and release decisions. Although the VPRAI was originally intended as a tool to further criminal justice reform in Virginia, there has been very little independent inquiry into its use. My research gathers qualitative data through interviews with professional stakeholders and former defendants to address this gap in knowledge, and identify the benefits, consequences, and challenges associated with the VPRAI. I conclude that, at the present time, it is not effectively contributing to reform efforts, and I propose several policy modifications that could improve its use as a tool to eliminate cash bond, lower incarceration rates, and produce unbiased pretrial detention decisions.
Feindt, Stacey, "Detained by Data: A Critical Analysis of the Virginia Pretrial Risk Assessment Instrument" (2019). Student Research Submissions. 283.