The First Step Act offers people incarcerated in federal prison the opportunity to earn credits toward early release. To help determine who is eligible (after excluding people with certain prior offenses), the US Department of Justice created the Prisoner Assessment Tool Targeting Estimated Risk and Needs (PATTERN), a risk assessment tool that predicts the likelihood that a person who is incarcerated will reoffend. This interactive version of PATTERN shows how each risk factor raises or lowers a person’s risk score and can estimate whether they qualify for early release.
How to use this tool:
The tool defaults to the first answer for every risk factor. Make sure to select your own answer for every risk factor to get the most accurate results.
- Because the risk factors for reoffending can differ between men and women, scoring varies slightly by gender. Start by selecting a gender. Then select answers for each risk factor.
- Risk factors are divided into two categories: static and dynamic. People who are incarcerated can take steps to change their dynamic risk scores.
- PATTERN calculates two separate scores: a person’s risk of reoffending in general and their risk of reoffending with an act of violence. Each answer below shows the point values for both scoring methods. These scores determine whether someone is in a minimum-, low-, medium-, or high-risk category for reoffending. For someone to be eligible for early release, their general and violent risk categories must both be minimum or low.