AG Modifications To CJ Reform Policies: Part 3

by | Nov 12, 2017 | Blog, New Jersey

Anti-Drug ProfiteeringThe assessment can be scored with up to five missing items, and the raw score is subject to proration for unknown or missing items. A defendant is placed in one of seven categories of risk utilizing his/her final score. Each risk category correlates to a research-validated statistical likelihood of recidivism (e.g., a defendant scoring a 5 is 53% likely to recidivate).

Like the PSA, the ODARA measures risk. Unlike the PSA, the AOC has yet to designate the ODARA for use by the Judiciary or the pretrial services program. Thus, no decision-making framework has been developed by the judiciary to manage the risks identified by the ODARA score. Nonetheless, law enforcement will utilize the ODARA to frame critical decisions in certain domestic violence cases. See Section 4.6.

The ODARA measurement is thus subjective and skewed against defendants. This is because it is based on victim and police “input” as opposed to objective statistical data. Ideally, neither the Judiciary nor pretrial services program will give this creation of law enforcement any weight. There were many give and takes between the prosecutions, court, and defense bar during the lengthy implementation of criminal justice and bail reform. The adoption of the ODARA and its pro-prosecutor leanings would be fundamentally unfair under the circumstances.

Not all characteristics of domestic violence offenders are statistically significant in predicting a future assault on an intimate partner. The developers of the ODARA included in the tool only those characteristics that strongly and independently predict recidivism. Therefore, certain factors commonly believed to be typical of domestic violence offenders (e.g., childhood violence, suicide threats, and animal abuse) were not incorporated in the ODARA. Nonetheless, as with the PSA, law enforcement must consider all known relevant information when making critical decisions in the prosecution of domestic violence matters under Criminal Justice Reform. See subsection 4.2.2 and see subsection 4.6.10 (enumerating a non-exclusive list of special factors to be considered).