Pretrial Risk Assessment Information System for Texas

The Office of Court Administration is developing a web-based application that incorporates an objective risk assessment to assist judges in making pretrial release decisions. The application is called the Pretrial Risk Assessment Information System for Texas (PRAISTX) and it incorporates the Public Safety Assessment (PSA) developed by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. The PSA calculates risk scores based on nine objective factors about each arrested individual—factors shown to correlate with a defendant’s failure to appear or commit a new crime. No defendant interview is required with PRAISTX, however, data regarding each arrestee must be entered into the online tool.

Risk scores are based on the following factors:

  • Current offense
  • Pending charges at time of current offense
  • Age at current arrest
  • Prior misdemeanor conviction(s)
  • Prior felony conviction(s)
  • Number of violent convictions
  • Number of pretrial failures to appear in last two years
  • Pretrial failures to appear in cases older than two years
  • Previous sentences to jail or prison greater than 14 days

PRAISTX is not a substitute for the application of judicial discretion, and the risk scores it generates are not intended to be used to automatically detain or release a defendant.  PRAISTX does not generate recommendations about conditions of pretrial release a judge may want to impose.