I watched at TED a good lecture on the use of analytics to fighting crime, by Anne Milgram. an american attorney. In the lecture, Anne Milgram explains that when she became the attorney general of New Jersey in 2007, she quickly discovered a few startling facts: not only did her team not really know who they were putting in jail, but they had no way of understanding if their decisions were actually making the public safer. And so began her ongoing, inspirational quest to bring data analytics and statistical analysis to the US criminal justice system.
Anne Milgram said that decided to focus on using data and analytics to help make the most critical decision in public safety, and that decision is the determination of whether, when someone has been arrested, whether they pose a risk to public safety and should be detained, or whether they don't pose a risk to public safety and should be released. Everything that happens in criminal cases comes out of this one decision. It impacts everything. It impacts sentencing. It impacts whether someone gets drug treatment. It impacts crime and violence.
So she went out and built a phenomenal team of data scientists and researchers and statisticians to build a universal risk assessment tool, so that every single judge in the United States of America can have an objective, scientific measure of risk. In the tool that they've built, what they did was they collected 1.5 million cases from all around the United States, from cities, from counties, from every single state in the country, the federal districts. Their goal, is that every single judge in the United States will use a data-driven risk tool within the next five years. She finished with a statement: "Some people call it data science. I call it moneyballing criminal justice."
TED link: Why smart statistics are the key to fighting crime
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