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Eric Holder
Fairly assessing risk and recidivism
Fairly assessing risk and recidivism

The use of big data to track and analyze human behavior has crept into perhaps the most consequential and sensitive of contexts in society — criminal sentencing. While predictions of future criminality have thus far been made primarily through clinical assessments, often involving in-person interviews, the criminal justice system is turning to analytics to make these predictions. Under this actuarial approach, an individual's risk of recidivism is computed by aggregating the rates of recidivism for individuals possessing the same group characteristics. For example, the risk profile of a poor high-school educated white man will be calculated according to the rates of recidivism...