The large volume of information used for so-called “predictive policing” is rapidly changing the way police do their jobs. University of District of Columbia law professor Andrew Guthrie Ferguson says in a Washington Post podcast that it’s also crowding out other strategies for keeping America’s cities safe.
Two computer scientists, writing in the journal “Science Advances,” say the two-decade-old COMPAS system is no more accurate or fair than predictions made by people with little or no criminal justice expertise.” Over the past two decades, the program has been used to assess more than one million criminal offenders.
Before you jump to conclusions about the future of criminal justice reform in 2018, you might want to examine the arguments of some of the nation’s leading scholars. Here are seven books certain to influence this year’s policy debates–and some additional ones suggested by TCR readers.
The criminal justice system is increasingly relying on algorithms to prevent crime and punish wrongdoers. Law professor Andrew Ferguson warns in a new book that it’s time to take a close look before these systems are locked in.
Critics charge that despite claims of objectivity, algorithms reproduce existing biases, disproportionately targeting people by class, race, and gender. Reformers say another New York City bill, the Right to Know Act, doesn’t go far enough.
The ability to predict crimes before they happen has long been a topic of fascination for science fiction writers and filmmakers. But in real life, the data feeding predictive algorithms is riddled with problems, according to a researcher at the UC Davis School of Law.
By one count, 20 of the nation’s 50 largest police forces are using computer algorithms to predict where crime might occur and who will be a victim and perpetrator. Some see it as the future of policing. Others question its legitimacy and are nettled by civil rights questions.