In an op-ed for The New York Times, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Research Scientists Chelsea Barabas and Karthik Dinakar, along with Harvard Law School Criminal Justice Policy Program Lawyer Colin Doyle, write the use of risk assessment tools to try to predict people’s future criminal behavior is flawed. "Risk assessments may perpetuate the misconceptions and fears that drive mass incarceration," they write. "Applying 'big data' forecasting to our existing criminal justice practices is not just inadequate — it also risks cementing the irrational fears and flawed logic of mass incarceration behind a veneer of scientific objectivity. Neither judges nor software can know in advance who will and who won’t commit violent crime." (Registration may be required to access this story.)
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