Two major users of the software are the police departments in Baltimore and Philadelphia. They use the programs to help reduce the murder rate by predicting which prison parolees are the most likely to commit murder. According to sources familiar with the program, the people identified by the software are then given the strictest supervision once they are released. The point of the program is to rely on the software, rather than a parole officer’s instincts.
The creator of the software, a man named Richard Berk, says that the predictive computer modeling uses several known predictors, including a person’s age when he committed a crime, the nature of the crime, the person’s current age and where he currently resides, when computing the probability of “re-offending.”
Though the newly created predictive software may seem surprising, such statistical models have been around for years. The first such program was launched in New York in 1995 with the NYPD’s Comparative Statistics program, also know as COMPSTAT. Variations of the program are currently in use in other major cities including, Los Angeles, D.C. and San Francisco.
Yet another variation, IBM’s Blue CRUSH (Criminal Reduction Utilizing Statistical History), is in use in Memphis, TN and has been for several years. Blue CRUSH works by creating models of possible crime based on analysis of previous criminal acts and arrest data. The software allows Memphis police to examine crime patterns across the city and forecast potential criminal hot spots so they can better allocate resources and officers to be prepared for possible incidents. The police department says that the CRUSH software has helped reduce serious crime by more than 30%, including a 15% drop in violent crimes, since it was implemented.
The whole idea of predictive crime technology sounds like something out of “Minority Report,” but the reality is police departments right here in Memphis are using such programs. If you, or someone you know, have been charged with any crime in Memphis or the surrounding area, you should consult with an experienced attorney. The skilled Mississippi criminal defense attorneys at The Stroud Law Firm will work hard to assist you in your defense and secure your freedom. Call us toll free today at 833-536-5656 for a free consultation.
Source: “Predictive analysis grows as crime-prevention tool,” by David Hubler, published at GCN.com.