In the United States, computers help decide who goes to jail

Every day, judges across the United States face harrowing decisions: How many years should they give the bipolar woman convicted of murder? Should they jail the young—possibly innocent—man awaiting trial, or release him on bail, where he could commit a crime? Facing overflowing dockets, courts are increasingly using computer-based tools to help make those choices. Now, a new study suggests that one widely used tool—an algorithm that calculates “risk scores” for defendants in sentencing or bail hearings—is no better than people armed with a few key pieces of information.

Source: In the United States, computers help decide who goes to jail. But their judgment may be no better than ours | Science | AAAS

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