Criminal Risk Assessment Algorithms Are as Biased as Their Creators

Emma McGowan SAVE THIS


The United States, which has about 5 percent of the world’s population, accounts for 21 percent of incarcerated people globally. The racial distribution of people behind bars looks quite a bit different from the racial distribution of the country as a whole. While Black people make up 13.4 percent of the US population, according to the US Census, they account for 40 percent of the incarcerated population. According to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Black people are incarcerated at five times the rate of white people in the United States.

It’s safe to say that our criminal justice system is not just, at least when it comes to race.

In recent years, a new solution has been introduced to make courts more objective: computer algorithms. These “criminal risk assessment algorithms” help overburdened courts decide whether they think people will reoffend. After inputting a series…

Subscribe to The North Star

Subscribe for $10 a month to gain access to this and many more articles from The North Star.

Do you already have an account?


Join The Conversation

Join the Conversation