BREAKING: Utah Legislature requests judiciary “immediately stop” implementation of risk assessment tool citing potential “public safety” concerns (letter)

BREAKING NEWS…

Salt Lake City, UT – The Utah State Legislature has sent a formal letter to Chief Justice Matthew Durrant of the Utah Supreme Court and Richard Schwermer, Court Administrator of the AOC, to request that the judiciary “immediately stop in the implementation of the statewide risk assessment tool and enhancements to the current risk assessment activities” citing concerns over proposed rule changes to rule 7 of the Utah Rules of Criminal Procedure.


20170927 Judiciary Letter on Risk Assessment


From the letter…

Re: Proposed changes to the Utah Supreme Court rules and changes to risk assessment

Chief Justice Durrant and Administrator Schwermer,

We are concerned that proposed changes to rule 7 of the Utah Rules of Criminal Procedure are substantial changes to policy, beyond just administrative modifications. Furthermore, it is our understanding that the Courts will soon implement a statewide system that utilizes software obtained through a sole-source contract to determine risk assessment of defendants. This is also a substantial change from traditional procedures, which could impact policy developed by the Legislature.

Therefore, we are respectfully requesting that the Courts delay in the implementation of any pending or recent modification to the Supreme Court Rules that impact pre-trial activities, including URCP 7. We are further requesting that the Courts immediately stop in the implementation of the statewide risk assessment tool and enhancements to the current risk assessment activities. There must be cessation of all these activities until the entire Legislature reviews these proposals and programs, and determines whether to modify existing policies.

We appreciate a strong dialogue between all branches of state government- especially as it pertains to policies that impact the public safety of our state.


Statement from Jeff Clayton, Executive Director, American Bail Coalition:

“For the President of the Senate and Speaker of the House to tell the Chief Justice to stop implementation of the Arnold foundation risk assessment tool tells me that they seriously reviewed the recent and significant evidence of the flaws with the tool noted by other public officials throughout the United States, and concluded that it was time to stop the implementation before it unleashed a wave of crime in Salt Lake City that would turn Operation Rio Grande into Operation Futility.”

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