Predictive policing tools used widely by law enforcement agencies attempt to identify where crime will happen before it does. These analyses determine police deployment, and ultimately, arrest data. In this article, Ben Winters highlights how risk assessment tools use that data, combined with various other inputs, to determine detention, bail, sentencing, parole, and more which give rise to serious transparency and oversight concerns.
Particularly, Winters highlights the urgency of these paramount concerns given the tool’s operation in a system that severely disadvantages already marginalized communities. Winters argues that the relatedness of the tools is under-recognized and could be stronger reflected in advocacy efforts and regulatory efforts. This article explains the harm compounded by the tools and explores regulatory options both inside of traditional government levers, and the approaching regulation of data and data practices.