Can We Really Predict Crime???
On Wednesday, it was announced that the Florida State Department of Juvenile Justice will begin using a software program to predict which juvenile offenders will be likely to reoffend. The ones chosen will then be placed into special treatment programs meant to prevent them from committing the same crimes. The comparisons to Minority Report are obvious. Jesus Diaz at Gizmodo puts together a terrific rant on how horrible of an idea this is:
Sure. Some will argue that these juvenile delinquents were already convicted for other crimes, so hey, there’s no harm. This software will help prevent further crimes. It will make all of us safer? But would it? Where’s the guarantee of that? Why does the state have to assume that criminal behavior is a given? And why should the government decide who goes to an specific prevention program or who doesn’t based on what a computer says? The fact is that, even if the software was 99.99% accurate, there will be always an innocent person who will be fucked. And that is exactly why we have something called due process and the presumption of innocence. That’s why those things are not only in the United States Constitution, but in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights too.
The whole thing is a must read in my opinion. I do find this kind of thing to be rather scary.