The First Step Act – Risk and Needs Assessment System

The Bureau of Prisons put out a The First Step Act of 2018: Risk and Needs Assessment System – UPDATE in January 2020.

In developing a new risk tool, the Department placed emphasis on a system that accurately measures an inmate’s change during incarceration, and provides opportunities for inmates to reduce their risk scores post-intake during periodic reassessments. Accordingly, PATTERN includes a diverse set of factors to determine the risk of recidivism for BOP inmates; many of these factors are dynamic, meaning that an inmate’s risk of recidivism could change with appropriate programming and services or could be affected by the inmate’s behavior. These factors, in conjunction with an inmate’s commitment to reform, are crucial to the assessment process.

The dynamic factors initially included in PATTERN were:

1. Infraction convictions (any)

2. Infraction convictions (serious and violent)

3. Number of programs completed (any)

4. Number of Technical or Vocational Courses

5. Federal Prison Industry employment (only for women)

6. Drug treatment while incarcerated

7. Drug education while incarcerated

8. Non-Compliance with financial responsibility (only for women)

9. Education Score (only for women)

10. History of Violence

11. History of Escape

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