Guests: Richard Berk, Paul Hetznecker
Should we trust judges or computer programs to make decisions about whether a defendant is likely to reoffend? The criminal justice system is increasingly turning to data and computers algorithms to help make sentencing and parole decisions. Risk assessements that help predict the likelihood of recidivism are being used in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania. But critics say that these crime forecasting tools may be racial biased and are inherently unfair. Today, we’ll debate the use of these prediction algorithms and discuss whether they increase or decrease racial bias. Marty’s guests are University of Pennsylvania professor of criminology RICHARD BERK, who has developed the assessment tool used by the Philadelphia’s Adult Probation and Parole Department and the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole, and Philadelphia criminal defense attorney PAUL HETZNECKER.