Computer Program that Calculates Jail house tenure in U.S is more racist than Humans

US Jails

Before an accused person is sentenced, is required to take a quiz. It is for those who commit crimes in some U.S. states. Crime accused are required to take a 137-question quiz.

A software program called Correctional Offender Management Profiling for Alternative Sanctions, or COMPAS has a list of question and it then calculates the sentence based on risk analysis. It includes risk for reoffending, and help a judge determine a sentence based on that risk assessment.

A computer program used to calculate jailhouse tenure is less accurate, more expensive and racially biased than a random human assigned for the same task.

The questions, ranging from queries about a person’s criminal history, are part of this software program.

This program was researched by Dartmouth researchers, who claimed that random, untrained people could assess about a person’s criminal better than the expensive software could.

COMPAS is meant to crunch the numbers on a person’s life, determine their risk for reoffending, and help a judge determine a sentence based on that risk assessment.

Few questions like substance parents’ of the criminal use, to or “do you feel discouraged at times?”

Take Eric Loomis, man from Michigan arrested in 2013, who pled guilty to attempting to flee a police officer,

While the offense was not violent, COMPAS assessed Loomis’s history and reported him as having “a high risk of violence, recidivism, high pretrial risk.” Loomis was sentenced to six years in prison based on the COMPAS assessment.

COMPAS analyzed answers to the 137-question quiz, which asks questions about the person’s criminal history, social life, family history, and opinions. The questionnaire does not ask a person’s race.  But those about parents’ arrest history, neighborhood crime, and a person’s economic stability — appear biased against black defendants, who are disproportionately imprisoned or underpaid in the U.S.

A 2016 ProPublica investigation analyzed the software’s results across 7,000 cases in Broward County, Florida, and found that COMPAS often evaluates a person’s risk for practicing future crimes. These incorrect assessments nearly doubled among black defendants as compared to white defendants.

Source:  ProPublica

About author View all posts

Meghna Gupta

Meghna Gupta

Meghna has over 10 years of experience in the online news industry. She started out as a content writer for a number of news organizations around the world, eventually landing the job of chief editor at the News Release India.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *