Category: Pretrial Release

Computerized Justice is No Justice

ACTION NEEDED: Ohio Using an Invalid Risk Assessment Tool to Determine Pretrial Release, Probation

Ohio, long championing itself as a leader in the use of validated risk assessment tools is, in fact, open to serious scrutiny of their risk model. August 14, 2018 There is continuing opposition to the use of risk assessments in what might be called the cradle-to-grave of the criminal justice system. Currently, there is an…
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Criminal justice software code could send you to jail and there’s nothing you can do about it

Trade secrets are trumping personal liberty Excerpt from The Register – August 13, 2018 DEF CON American police and the judiciary are increasingly relying on software to catch, prosecute and sentence criminal suspects, but the code is untested, unavailable to suspects’ defense teams, and in some cases provably biased. In a presentation at the DEF CON…
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Machine Bias

Can Computers Predict the Future? In a special report by ProPublica in May of 2016, the authors examine predictive “risk-based” criminal software used in analyzing the risk posed by criminal defendants after arrest.  The findings on the performance of these algorithms was alarming…and served as a wake up call for states engaging in the self…
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EJI: Risk Assessments Biased Against African Americans, Study Finds

Risk Assessments Biased Against African Americans, Study Finds A report from Equal Justice Initiative examined the computer algorithms in pretrial release decisions and found that “computer algorithms that rate a defendant’s risk of future crime found they falsely labeled black defendants as future criminals at nearly twice the rate of white defendants.” A study examining…
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Are criminal risk assessment algorithms racist?

In the ongoing effort to reform our criminal justice system, are algorithms the answer…and are these self-proclaimed “validated” assessments racist? dug deeper into the issue with an article published in March of 2018  that explores that very question… To Reform Criminal Justice, Design a Racist Algorithm? ( excerpt published by – March 20…
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According to a report by Wired Magazine, leading researchers of artificial intelligence are warning on the perils of relying on algorithms and artificial intelligence in government…and we couldn’t agree more. The AI Now report calls for agencies to refrain from what it calls “black box” systems opaque to outside scrutiny. Kate Crawford, a researcher at…
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