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From Polluted to Playground: It’s Taken 25 Years to Clean Up the Cheat River

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On a recent sunny Wednesday, Paul Ziemkiewicz, director of West Virginia University’s Water Research Institute, was standing on a bridge looking out at Big Sandy Creek. It was a balmy afternoon, perfect for kayaking, and the creek running the Cheat River was clear. But 25 years ago, this water was a shocking orange color — from acid mine drainage.

Look at this,” Ziemkiewicz said, gesturing to the raging water below. “This is a fishery now, but it was completely dead back then.”

This year the last heavily-polluted stretch of the watershed is set to be cleaned up.

“In my lifetime a river that was dead has now come back,” said Amanda Pitzer, executive director of Friends of the Cheat, a local conservation group that was formed by a motley crew of river guides and enthusiasts in 1994 to deal with acid mine pollution. The group also hosts the annual Cheat River Festival to celebrate the river and raise money to restore it.

The Cheat was known to be polluted for decades, but the pollution grabbed national attention after two blowouts at the active T&T coal mine in 1994 and 1995 poured millions of gallons of acidic water into the main stem of the Cheat. Fish were killed 16 miles downstream in Cheat Lake.

Children play with bubbles during the 2018 Cheat River Festival. Photo by Jesse Wright/WVPB.

More than two decades later, Friends of the Cheat, local residents and businesses and state and federal regulators have a reason to celebrate: Once fully operational, an active water treatment plant run by West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection near the T&T mine will clean polluted water currently running through Muddy Creek.

Once the 3.4-mile stretch of Muddy Creek is clean, fish will be able to travel the entire length of the Cheat River — one of the longest free-flowing rivers in the eastern United States — unimpeded by pollution.

“It was such an accomplishment to bring the Cheat back, but to bring Muddy Creek back — I mean we’re kicking ass and taking names,” Pitzer said.

A New Approach

This success is largely the result of a decision among regulators, scientists and a local conservation group to treat the pollution problem as an entire watershed.

Across the Cheat River’s 1,422-mile watershed, more than 340 abandoned coal mines feed pollution into the Cheat and its tributaries, like the Big Sandy. Acid mine drainage, or AMD, is one of the largest contributors of pollution to thousands of miles of rivers and streams from Alabama to Pennsylvania.

The bright orange, and sometimes milky white, pollution contains iron, aluminum and manganese. It forms when pyrite, a mineral buried deep underground with coal, is exposed to air and water.

State regulators have limited federal dollars to ensure water coming from these mines meets federal Clean Water Act standards. An estimated 300,000 abandoned mines dot Appalachia, complicating the problem. Water that comes from mines built before 1977, when the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act went into effect, must be treated by the state. The law mandated that mines built after 1977 must be bonded, or have insurance, in case they go out of business or the operator chooses to stop maintaining the site. If that happens, DEP takes the money from those bonds and must reclaim the land and treat the water from these so-called “bond-forfeiture” sites.

Ziemkiewicz, of WVU, said originally in the Cheat River watershed — as is the case in many places dealing with AMD across Appalachia — regulators tried to address the problem by treating each individual mine contributing pollution to the river. But it’s not always effective.

“You can throw almost infinite amounts of money trying to treat point sources like that in a watershed like this that has both abandoned mines and also bond forfeiture sites and not make any impact at all on the quality of the stream because the abandoned mines dominate the whole picture,” he said.

A key piece to making this new approach work was some innovative thinking on the part of state regulators. The state DEP created an alternative clean water permit, which allowed the agency to address stream-wide water quality, rather than treat individual pollution sources.

“The watershed scale strategy that DEP is using here actually restores the creek and for a lot less money,” Ziemkiewicz said.

Scientists also needed to show federal regulators they could get results treating AMD pollution on a watershed level.

A Testbed in the Watershed

Part of the passive treatment system at Sovern site No. 62. Photo by Brittany Patterson/WVPB.

Standing in a grassy clearing overlooking this forested valley, it’s just possible to see the entry to a now-abandoned coal mine here in the headwaters of Sovern Run, a tributary of Big Sandy Creek, which runs into the Cheat.

Ziemkiewicz and his team built what’s called a “passive treatment” system. At Sovern site No. 62, AMD pollution flows through a series of limestone-lined ponds and channels. The alkaline limestone turns low pH, acid water coming out of the mine into much cleaner water through naturally-occurring chemical reactions. Passive systems don’t require power or the addition of chemicals and are often lower maintenance.

“We were able to knock off something like 80 percent of the acid load, most of the iron,” Ziemkiewicz said, of the passive treatment system. “The idea was to put a lot of these all over the watershed.”

During the first Cheat Fest in 1995, Friends of the Cheat and Ziemkiewicz and his team took federal officials from the Interior Department and Office of Surface Mining the treatment system at Sovern site No. 62.

The strategy being employed in the Cheat River watershed could be valuable to other communities struggling with AMD pollution. To help widen the scope, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement created a federal plan inside its acid mine drainage program that allowed states to dole out federal Abandoned Mine Land dollars to local government agencies and watershed organizations, like Friends of the Cheat, to clean up streams impaired by acid mine drainage.

Friends of the Cheat took it and ran with it. They installed more than a dozen passive treatments. Today, they maintain those and a series of active treatments, or engineered systems. Active treatments include in-stream dosers, which deposit a steady stream of alkaline lime to help neutralize the water. Active treatments also include things such as water treatment plants.

Toddi Steelman, one of the founding members of Friends of the Cheat,  studies watershed restoration She said the collaboration between Friends of the Cheat and regulators at both state and federal levels has been a 25-year experiment.

“Having the university close by and invested was a huge stroke of luck,” she said. “Having several sources of financial support in the 90s has really been essential.”

She also underscored the importance of having a local conservation group that is deeply invested in seeing the restoration of a river come to fruition.

“You need a local champion that is going to see it through because it’s really a labor of love,” she said. “It’s really about love the land, love of the river, love of community and I would say that’s really what has really characterized the group over time.”

This type of grassroots model can be a template for others, according to Scott Hardy, with the Ohio Sea Grant program at Ohio State University.

He studies collaborative watershed management and said the federal government moved toward providing resources for more grassroots, collaborative watershed restoration in the 1990s, with plenty of success stories.

Hardy said although collaboration can take longer than traditional top-down restoration efforts, having local groups that are passionate about their watershed helps.

The Last Piece

It takes a lot of heart, but it also takes a lot of money to clean a watershed.

Since 2000, the Environmental Protection Agency has contributed more than $5 million to the Cheat watershed. The state DEP has spent more than $13 million constructing and maintaining treatment systems across the area.

Now, one of the last treatments is almost in place. Once fully operational, a water treatment plant near the T&T mine will take care of the last major polluted stretch of the watershed.

You can see the T&T Treatment plant just off Route 26 near Albright. In some ways, it can best be described as a dishwasher for dirty mine water.

The plant will process AMD polluted water from three abandoned mine sites. Water pumped in from the polluted Fickey Run, will also be piped to the plant, said Larry Riggleman, the regional engineer for northern region of DEP’s Office of Special Reclamation.

The T&T treatment facility located near Albright, WV. Photo by Brittany Patterson/WVPB.

Riggleman helped design the plant. It can treat between 800 to 4,200 gallons of polluted water each minute. A lime slurry is added to the two 80-foot tanks, or clarifiers, as they’re called. When the lime is added the iron and aluminum to drop to the bottom. The metal sludge is pushed to the middle, drains out, and is pumped back into the T&T mine nearby.

“And then from here it’s a straight discharge to the river,” Riggleman said.

If another mine blowout were to happen similar to the events in 1994 and 1995, the plant can handle up to 7,600 gallons per minute, which will flow through the two tanks and come out the other side clean.

The site cost about $8.5 million to construct and $30,000 a month to run, funded in part by the bond forfeited by the T&T mine. DEP also received support from oil and gas company, Southwest Energy. The company has a policy to offset its water use by contributing in other water restoration efforts.

“Within West Virginia we were looking for meaningful projects that were out there that we could be a contributor towards and the Cheat River is a beautiful river and one that stood out to us as a place that we could make a positive impact,” said Rowlan Greaves, manager of strategic solutions for Southwestern Energy.

Riggleman has been working in this watershed for years and he said once the plant is fully operational, Muddy Creek, which has been the single largest contributor of acid mine drainage for years, will be clean. He said it’s hard to quantify what that will mean.

“I mean, to be able to bring a stream back to life — which I can’t tell you when the last time it was it had a life — but from an environmental standpoint on the Cheat it’s huge,” he said. “I think from a recreational standpoint with people wanting to fish, kayak, things of that nature, I think that’s huge. I think it’s very important that this gets done and I think it’ll be very successful.”

Paul Hart, president of local rafting company, Cheat River Outfitters, agrees that the work done over the last two decades has made a difference in the water quality of the river. Today, he said, guides will often catch fish in the clear, clean water.

“A lot of people have seen it and decided ‘you know we can do better,'” he said. “And they’ve put their heads together and made it happen, which is a dream turned into a reality. The Cheat is just too much of a gem to be lost to something like acid mine drainage, it really is.”

But Hart added the river was already losing appeal as a rafting destination before the big mine blowouts in the 90s, and it has yet to recover. Pitzer, with Friends of the Cheat, said they recognize overcoming a polluted reputation takes time.

The Western Avenue String Band plays during the 2018 Cheat River Festival. Photo by Jesse Wright/WVPB.

“Just like anything it takes time to change people’s perception of what a river is,” she said. “If you came here in the 80’s and you paddled the river and you remember it being orange and awful and then someone tells you ‘oh my gosh, I went and I caught walleye down in Jenkinsburg,’ they might be like ‘oh, get out of here’ you know. So, I think it just takes time.”

The groups plans to continue working to restore the river in the hopes that one day the Cheat has a different reputation: One of a clean, beautiful river.

This article was originally published by West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

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Rural’s Connection to Environment Means Bigger Climate-Change Impact

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Mainstays of rural American culture and economy – such as timber, agriculture, tourism, ranching, hunting, fishing, winter sports – could see major disruptions from climate change. The impact will be big enough to disrupt the national economy, a federal report says.

Rural communities face clear economic and environmental risks from a changing climate, according to the 2018 National Climate Assessment.  

The report documents changes in the timing of seasons, temperature fluctuations, increased incidence of extreme weather and change in rainfall – all patterns with the potential disrupt rural economic activities.  

Climate change in rural communities poses an outsized risk to the national economy, the report says. 

Although the majority of the U.S. population lives in urban areas, most of the country is still classified as rural. In this map, counties are classified as rural if they do not include any cities with populations of 50,000 or more. (Figure source: USDA Economic Research Service).

“Rural America’s importance to the country’s economic and social well-being is disproportionate to its population, as rural areas provide natural resources that much of the rest of the United States depends on for food, energy, water, forests, recreation, national character, and quality of life,” the report stated.  

While not all regions face the same impacts due to increased greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere, the assessment explains how increased volumes of carbon, methane and other greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere will lead to changing climatic patterns. The report’s authors predict that changes will likely increase volatility in agricultural commodity markets, shift plant and animal ranges, increase the number and intensity of droughts and floods, and increase the number and size of wildfires throughout the rural landscape.  

Tourism is often climate-dependent as well as seasonally dependent. Increasing heat and humidity – projected for summers in the Midwest, Southeast, and parts of the Southwest by mid-century (compared to the period 1961-1990) – is likely to create unfavorable conditions for summertime outdoor recreation and tourism activity. The figures illustrate projected changes in climatic attractiveness (based on maximum daily temperature and minimum daily relative humidity, average daily temperature and relative humidity, precipitation, sunshine, and wind speed) in July for much of North America. In the coming century, the distribution of these conditions is projected to shift from acceptable to unfavorable across most of the southern Midwest and a portion of the Southeast, and from very good or good to acceptable conditions in northern portions of the Midwest, under a high emissions scenario. (Source: National Climate Assessment).

For portions of rural America with an economy based on agriculture, climate scientists are most worried about shifting geographic suitability of particular crops and abnormal timing for planting and harvest. These changes may result in additional use of herbicides and pesticides, which could create additional health risks from chemical applications. Crop and pasture yields and profitability could also be affected by changes in rainfall, temperature and extreme weather events. Increased flooding could increase soil erosion and water pollution from agricultural runoff, according to the report.  

Rural communities with an economy based on recreation and tourism also face significant challenges due to climate change, according to the report. Rising seas could damage rural Florida’s multi-billion dollar recreational fishing sector and cause further ecological damage to the Everglades region.  

Coastal erosion and rising oceans throughout the nation could affect wildlife habitat, disrupting hunting, fishing, bird watching, and other wildlife-related activities. 

Rural places with significant winter recreation activities could face risks as snow-pack is expected to decrease.  

Forest-dependent rural communities are likely to face significant change as well. Forest geographies and species composition are likely to shift as the climate changes. The number of pests and disease will increase. These factors could decrease timber and pulp harvests in some places. Forest fires are also expected to continue to increase in number, intensity and cost.  

The report identifies certain demographic trends in rural communities that make climate change adaptation more difficult.  

“Modern rural populations are generally older, less affluent, and less educated than their urban counterparts. Rural areas are characterized by higher unemployment, more dependence on government transfer payments, less diversified economies, and fewer social and economic resources needed for resilience in the face of major changes,” the report states. That combination of an aging population with higher poverty rates increases vulnerability of rural people and places to changes in climate.  

“Emergency management, energy use and distribution systems, transportation and infrastructure planning, and public health will all be affected,” the study states. State, regional, local and tribal governments in rural communities tend to be under-funded and rely heavily on volunteers.  

“Even in communities where there is increasing awareness of climate change and interest in comprehensive adaptation planning, lack of funding, human resources, access to information, training, and expertise provide significant barriers for many rural communities,” the report concludes. 

This report is the fourth National Climate Assessment, and summarizes the impacts of climate change on the United States. The report process was established by the Global Change Research Act of 1990 and mandates that the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) deliver a report to Congress and the president no less than every four years.  

A team of more than 300 experts guided by a 60-member Federal Advisory Committee developed the report. Scientists and researchers from federal, state and local governments, tribes and Indigenous communities, national laboratories, universities, and the private sector volunteered their time to produce the assessment. Information was gathered through a series of regional engagement workshops that reached more than 1,000 individuals in over 40 cities. Listening sessions, webinars and public comment periods also provided valuable input.  

This article was originally published by Daily Yonder.

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When Losing 14 to 1 is a Win — Sort Of

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Matthew Ferrence is a writer and college professor who ran a 14-day write-in campaign against an unopposed Pennsylvania state legislator. He got clobbered but finds something positive in the results. Photo: submitted by the author
A last-minute write-in campaign against an unopposed Pennsylvania state representative yielded 900 official votes. It wasn’t nearly enough to win, but it was enough to show that there’s more to Appalachia than the average TV pundit claims.
Well, I didn’t win. Let’s get that out of the way.But on the night of November 6th, 2018, after launching a last-minute zero-budget Green Party write-in campaign against an unopposed Republican incumbent, in a Pennsylvania district that perpetually votes at about a 70 percent clip for even Republicans who get absolutely blasted in statewide races (see: gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner, soundly defeated by Tom Wolfe), I wound up making a nearly 5 percent dent.

The how isn’t quite as important as they why, I think, but in brief: exactly two weeks before the election, I announced on Facebook my intention to mount a write-in campaign for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, disgusted that for the fourth time in seven elections, the local incumbent — Brad Roae — faced literally no competition. Nobody squared off against him in the Republican primary and nobody ran on the Democratic ticket. In fact, only twice in his tenure has he faced opposition from Democrats, each of them throttled to the tune of 60-40 or thereabouts in the general election.

As an even sorrier indication of the state of political engagement in the rural part of Northwestern Pennsylvania where I live, only once has a Republican ever challenged him in a primary. It’s smooth sailing every two years, which leads to a tepid, basic and uninspiring legislative track record. Taxes are bad, he says. And, oh, let’s have some laws to weaken environmental protections for gas well drilling. He has made public media posts that appear to equate school boards to Hitler, and he has argued that state funding shouldn’t support students who major in “poetry or some other pre-Walmart major.”

Yeah, that’s who I lost to, my 900 votes or so to his 13,000. And that’s the guy who has gone to Harrisburg for more than a decade representing my home. Among the many things that gall me about his incumbency is the way that, outside of Appalachia, a lot of people would probably nod their heads and say, yup. Brad Roae is the kind of representative people think Appalachia embraces, is the kind of person so many non-Appalachians see as purely representative of who we are and what we stand for.

But here’s the thing. I’m finding hope in my two weeks as a candidate, and in the sudden flurry of interest and support. I ran because there had to be some opposition for democracy to have any chance at all, and when I did so I hoped I’d get 1 or 2 percent, not embarrass myself, shoot for the bar of 300 votes. That would be the same number of votes I would have needed as signatures to get on the ballot had I, say, planned ahead.

Then a funny thing happened. I started making videos introducing myself and my ideas, and put together a platform paper, and people started sharing these materials on Facebook, and I had to work through the anti-Russian Bot regulations the social media site now has so I could finally “boost” two of those posts on the morning of the election, and even before all that the organic sharing of an electorate dying for something, anything, that pushed against Appalachian political stereotypes meant 9,000 people had seen my stuff. Then, even though people had to first know I was running and then actually bother typing my name in, I fared okay. I earned about 65 votes for each day of my campaign. And I spent $50 on stickers, $20 on my Facebook ads.

Brad Roae poses in the Pennsylvania House chamber with Pennsylvania dairy princess LeeAnn Kapanick. Roae has represented the 6th House district since 2007. The district covers parts of Crawford and Erie counties in the state’s northwest corner. Photo: Pennsylvania State Legislature webpage

Official county returns compiled right before Thanksgiving gave me 851 votes. The Monday following, I reviewed the official computations and found another 60+, if I include misspellings like Matt Terrance and, Michael Ferrence, and Matthew Fetterman (for a voter who maybe confused me with our Democratic Lt. Governor candidate John Fetterman), and That Guy Whose Name Starts With F, as well as The Guy on Facebook Ask (name redacted), as well as a litany of close-but-no-cigar last names coupled with Matt or Matthew: Ferrer, Ferraro, Fetter, Farreah, Ferrenc, Ferrous, Ferris, Ferentz, Ferrick, and DeFerence. I got 14 votes in neighboring state districts, and four votes for the U.S. House Race. Among other write-ins, I beat a slew of names that received a single vote or a handful, tough competitors like Brad Roae (who a few people wrote in, even though he was on the ballot), Stephen Colbert, Anyone But Him, Anyone Else, Jesus, God, and Red Breasted Nuthatch.

Look, my day job is writing and teaching. I’m a professor at a small liberal arts college, chair of the Department of English, writer and teacher of creative nonfiction. I was born in southwestern Pennsylvania, among the played out coal fields and strip mines an hour east of Pittsburgh. I earned a Ph.D. at West Virginia University, where I specialized in Appalachian literature. I wrote a memoir about my brain tumor, and the geology of the Allegheny Plateau, and the curious exile of inhabiting the weird position of Northern Appalachian, which means you’re not quite normal American and not quite Appalachian. None of that adds up to politician, but all of it adds up to frustration. I’ve spent most of my life, other than brief adult stints in Arizona and France, living in a region that skews way right, even as that right continues to exploit and degrade the people and place. All Appalachia ever has been allowed to be is exploited. That’s it. And that’s all the rhetoric of the GOP offers, when you boil it down. Let’s Make America Great Again, like when black lung wrecked lives on the regular and, newsflash, is now roaring back to life since the unions have been busted, and the economy of the region stayed busted, so the people crawled down into mines without the protections hard fought with blood and love by the striking workers of Blair Mountain, and the striking workers of Pittsburgh steel, and the striking auto workers of the Rust Belt.

Ferrence knocked on some doors and created a Facebook page to promote his campaign. He did several short videos to explain why he ran and discuss issues. Photo: Matthew Ferrence for PA House, District 6 Facebook page

Public historian Elizabeth Catte gets it right (she’s the author of “What You’re Getting Wrong about Appalachia”) when she argues that Appalachians have been socialists all along. They just don’t know it. They gathered together. They fought the power of industrial dominion. They powered America with their coal, yes, but they also fueled the national movement for respect and dignity for labor. Then the GOP figured out how to weaponize hatred and fear, and there you go. You get Joe Manchin, alleged Democrat. And you get a region that votes more than 2/3 for Trump and Trump-esque troglodytes like Pennsylvania’s GOP gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner, who claims that global warming is probably just accumulated body heat from a larger human population or happens because the earth is getting closer to the sun, and campaigns by saying he’ll dance on the governor’s face while wearing golf spikes.

It boils down to this: I am so tired of waking up on November Wednesdays in Appalachia, seeing election results and, worse, national punditry that says this is all we are and all we’ll ever be. The election map of my state is bright red, other than around a few urban centers, just like most of Appalachia. That seems to translate to the same conclusion we get over and over and over again: dumb hillbillies voting for the worst. That conclusion seems to be supported by the simple math of our state politics, where more than half of state legislators run unopposed in their general elections, and our incumbency rate is about 90 percent. Few candidates ever put up a fight to change that.

So what’s an Appalachian creative writing professor to do? You run a last-ditch campaign. You tilt against the windmills in a manner that is both impotent (because you get crushed at the polls) and, at least for me, hopeful. Because having a choice, any choice, other than the incumbent mattered to the 2,000 people who either voted for me or tossed in a symbolic protest write-in. Because people stopped me when I walked by, and messaged me on Facebook, and were angry when they learned about the campaign only after they voted because, damn it, they couldn’t vote for the incumbent, and leaving it blank is just what the GOP has wanted for so long. The story of Appalachian politics has been about that blankness, a cultivation of the sense — and you can read this in almost every national outlet at some point in the last two years, usually with a quote from that faux-Appalachian pseudo-pundit J.D. Vance — that there’s nothing but right-wing fools in these hills and hollers. Appalachia is given up for dead again, this time just as a tarnished example of the hatred and backwardness of politics in this strange, strange land.

That’s just not how it is. That’s not the Appalachia I know nor the one I saw in my brief campaign. Heck, I ran this mini-campaign focused specifically on lefty sustainability, as in ecology and tree-hugging, as well as economies that stop repeating the boom-bust cycles of our past, and I drew a mighty good swipe of votes all at once, in the end. There are a lot of people in my county who believe in the value of the environment, and the necessity of fine educations, and the rightness of universal healthcare, and the imperative of social justice, and the glory of love in all its forms. There are progressives in these hills, you know. And a lot of them, but also a lot who hear those same old stories and worry about what the neighbors will think, so they don’t vote, or accept the inevitability of political monoculture. Thus the slam happens again. And again. And again. Unopposed Republican. Platforms of no taxes. Tacit acceptance of the Confederate Battle Flags that flutter on too many once-Union farmhouses.

Yeah, I got creamed. But I think we also won something that night. And we’ll keep coming back for more, riding a blue wave tinged with green, fighting for a change in the rural center of America that so many figure is lost forever. You know the joke, about Philadelphia and Pittsburgh and a lot of Alabama in between. Well, Alabama has a Democratic Senator, and so does Pennsylvania. We can do more, do better, push against the dogged stupidity of a right-wing cultural war that makes us all weaker and worse off. We can step into these races, and we can square off and say, hit me, and we can get hit, and eventually we can win. I know I’ll give it another shot – with my name printed on the ballot next time. I’ll need at least a couple of months next time, to get enough votes to be competitive, if history holds. But I’ll vow, and I hope others will too, that no one gets to run unopposed anymore. No one gets to spit out tired political bullshit and not get called out. This is our Appalachia too.

This article was originally published by the Daily Yonder

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There’s a Tool that Claims to Predict Potential for Criminal Behavior. Should PA Judges Use It?

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Allegheny County Courthouse in downtown Pittsburgh. Photo: Connor Mulvaney/PublicSource

The Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing is considering a “risk assessment” tool, which, according to social justice activists, would reinforce existing bias in the criminal justice system. But the tool’s designers say it would give judges more data to base sentencing decisions on as opposed to primarily relying on uniform guidelines.

The commission is hearing public feedback about the risk assessment tool on Thursday, Dec. 13, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the Allegheny County Courthouse (436 Grant St., Pittsburgh).

How would the “risk assessment” tool work? Say you’re facing a criminal charge. In addition to the usual information about your present and past — as in the crime for which you are on trial and your prior record, if any — the judge also has a report trying to predict your future. On a scale from 0 to 18 points, an algorithm has indicated how likely you are to reoffend, based on data about recidivism rates.

Read more about how the risk assessment tool is used to calculate sentences from PublicSource.

This story was originally published by PublicSource based in Pittsburgh.

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