United States

This Grand Experiment Could Revolutionize America's Justice System

America’s justice system runs on the exchange of money for freedom. Some say that’s unfair. But can data fix it?

Counties around the country are using “risk assessment tools” to help them decide which suspects should remain behind bars, as some states have found that the bail system discriminates against the poor, NBC News reported.

Created by data scientists and criminal-justice researchers, one risk assessment tool — an algorithm used in New Jersey — promises to use data to scrub the system of bias by keeping only the most dangerous defendants behind bars, regardless of their socioeconomic status.

Six months into this venture, New Jersey jails are already starting to empty, and the number of people locked up while awaiting trial has dropped.

But it’s also become clear that data is no wonder drug.

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