Software can be used to predict bad behavior. Washington D.C. will soon be using the software that is expected to reduce the murder rate as well as other crime rates. If it works, this is an amazing development.
How Software Works to Predict Bad Behavior in Criminals
The software is currently in use in Baltimore and Philadelphia, and it works by predicting which people on probation and parole are the most likely to murder or be killed. Richard Berk of the University of Pennsylvania developed the software.
The latest version of the software goes beyond predicting murder only, and it now predicts other crimes. This software may actually influence sentencing as well as bail in Washington D.C. The parole officers will use the software to help determine the level of supervision required for a criminal on parole.
According to ABC News, murders are rare. In general the average rate is one murder for every 100,000 people. Some high risk groups do experience a rate of one out of 100. The rareness of murders has made them difficult to predict. However, now computer technology has helped make the predictions much more accurate.
The most predictive variables in crimes are the type of crime and the age at which the crime was committed. The software looks at about two dozen variables to make the prediction. Ultimately, this will raise many issues. Victims will be happy that high risk groups will be more vigilantly monitored. However, inmate rights groups will feel that this is harassment, which it may well be. The software seems like it would punish people for future crimes. It is a tough line to toe for sure.
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