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Ohio Risk Assessment System (ORAS) - Pretrial Assessment Tool (PAT)

The Pretrial Assessment Tool (PAT) is a 7-item risk scale using a face-to-face interview format that is easy and fast to administer. It is intended to predict of both a defendant’s failure-to-appear and risk of violating pretrial probation with a new offense. The scale taps into three dimensions of risk: a) criminal history, b) employment and residential stability, and c) drug use). The scale can be completed in 10-15 minutes. Some questions during the interview must be verified through official records (i.e., criminal history variables, employment, etc). Cut-off scores effectively distinguish between low, medium, and high risk offenders with respect to the chance that they will violate conditions of pretrial supervision (Failure-to-Appear or new arrest). The pretrial assessment is intended to be used along with other scales used later in the criminal justice process, including the probation state, the intake-classification stage, and the community release stage. The manual suggests that the interviewee to take their time and use effective interviewing techniques, to probe the offender and allow him or her to talk freely, and to verify information where possible. The Pretrial Assessment Tool is positively related with recidivism (r = 0.23) with higher scores indicating higher risk of violations. The domain of criminal history appears to be the most sensitive at identifying offenders at high risk of recidivating.
Latessa, E., Smith, P., Lemke R., Makarios M., Lowenkamp, C. 2009. Creation and Validation of the Ohio Risk Assessment System: Final Report. University of Cincinnati School of Criminal Justice Center for Criminal Justice Research.
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Question Response
Age of the Defendant at First Arrest?
What was the first time the defendant was taken into custody, for a misdemeanor or felony, regardless of the cases final disposition? If the defendant does not remember or a discrepancy exists, use available official criminal history to determine the age that the defendant was first convicted of either a misdemeanor or a felony.
Under 32
Over 32
How many failure-to-appear warrants have been filed in the last 24 months?
Only consider adult criminal cases.

2 or more
Did the defendant have 3 or more prior jail and/or prison incarcerations?
Any incarcerations resulting from pretrial detention or other non-court issued confinement should not be considered when scoring this item. Any sentence in which the defendant spent time in jail, regardless of duration, should be counted. Jail sentences that are credited due to pretrial detention should also be counted, even if the credit is for the entirety of the sentence.
Was the defendant employed at the time of arrest?
Full-time is considered 40 hours or more per week, or currently enrolled in full-time school. Part-time is considered 10-39 hours per week. Unemployed is considered less than 10 hours per week, or if the defendant makes an unverifiable claim of being self-employed.
Yes, full-time
Yes, part-time
No, unemployed
Was the defendant at the current residence for the last 6 months? Yes

Has the defendant engaged in illegal drug use in last 6 months?
Drug "use" only includes administering or experiencing the drug personally, not selling, dealing, or trafficking the drug.
Has the defendant experienced any severe drug-related problems in the last 6 months?
This question should focus on drug use problems, and should not be scored for individuals who have family, employment, or legal problems due to the illegal selling or manufacturing of illicit narcotics unless they are also users.
No drug use
Some Drug use, but causing very few problems
Some Drug use, causing some minor problems
Some Drug use, causing some serious problems
Severe Drug use, causing many serious problems


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