Bureau of Prisons Publishes New Male PATTERN Risk Scoring Form
The Federal Bureau of Prisons has published a new male PATTERN Risk form. Over the next few days we will break down what that means.
What is PATTERN?
This is what we indicated PATTERN was in our blog explaining the impact of the FIRST STEP ACT one year after its passage:
A significant part of the First Step Act involves enhancing our understanding of each person in federal prison system – as an individual and not just a number. In that vein, the First Step Act mandates that the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) identify the specific needs of each inmate, and specific risks each inmate poses.
The individualized understanding of each inmate’s needs and risks will naturally allow for a mechanism to provide support for specific needs, and identify those low-risk inmates who may be eligible for early release or a sentence reduction, as well as pre-release custody, recidivism reduction, and job placement programs.
The BOP’s answer to this mandate was to create the risk and needs assessment tool, titled the Prisoner Assessment Tool Targeting Estimated Risk and Needs, or “PATTERN,” for short. The creation of PATTERN was announced in July 2019.
PATTERN is, in essence, a predictive tool designed to predict the likelihood of general and violent recidivism for all inmates. PATTERN contains certain static risk factors, such as age and offense committed; and dynamic factors, such as participation or lack of participation in education and drug treatment programs.
Interestingly, PATTERN was created specifically for the federal prison population, and those who created it state that it “achieves a higher level of predictability and surpasses what is commonly found for risk and needs assessment tools for correctional populations in the U.S.”
The Bureau of Prisons and the National Institute of Justice have a different explanation for it and how it came about:
PATTERN was released in July 2019 in response to Title I of the Act. PATTERN is designed to predict the likelihood of general and violent recidivism for all BOP inmates three years postrelease. PATTERN contains both static (e.g., criminal history) and dynamic (e.g., participation in education or drug treatment) factors that are associated with one’s risk of recidivism. The PATTERN assessment tool provides predictive scores, developed and validated for males and females separately.