Are You an Ethics Champion? Five Questions to Ask Before Employing Predictive Analytics in Practice

Author(s)
Jesse Russell, PhD, Chief Program Officer
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1.  Would it be appropriate to intervene today based on a prediction about the future?

It may not be okay (or legal) to hold people accountable for actions they have not taken, decisions they have not actually made, or rules they have not yet broken. In some cases, even those much more likely than average to have an outcome in relative terms are unlikely to have that outcome in real terms.

2.  How would you safeguard against letting structural inequalities that may be hiding in some data systems seep into your practice?

Diving Into Social Services System Crossover

Author(s)
Chris Scharenbroch
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Chris Scharenbroch

When I was a kid growing up in the Midwest I learned about four oceans: the Atlantic Ocean off the East Coast, the Pacific Ocean out by California, the Arctic Ocean in the frozen North, and the Indian Ocean on the other side of the world. This made sense because it helped orient me on a globe, but it also seemed a little suspicious: Where did one ocean end and another begin?

Better, Cheaper Solutions Exist for Fixing Wisconsin’s Prison Woes

Author(s)
Kathy Park
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Kathy Park

Expanding Wisconsin’s prisons is the wrong way to address the growing prison population. Department of Corrections (DOC) Secretary Jon Litscher is right about the need for relief, but increasing prison space—as he proposed in October—is a shortsighted and costly approach.

Who Guards the Guardians?

Author(s)
Patrick Michels
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More than 53,000 people in Texas, and more than 1.5 million nationwide, live today under a court-ordered guardianship, with their basic rights—like deciding where they live, how they spend their money, and who they see—entrusted to someone else. It’s a tremendous power wielded by judges who must quickly untangle intra-family politics, and then monitor the guardianship for signs of neglect or abuse.

The Short, Wonderful, But Ultimately Tragic Life of Lena Bruce

Author(s)
Phillip Martin
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According to a compilation of data collected by the Scripps-Howard News service, from 1980 to 2008 close to 185,000 homicide cases in the United States went unsolved, and the data showed major disparities between the resolution of cases involving black and white victims. From 1990 until the near present, about 29% of the killings of white men and boys went unsolved compared to 38% of killings of black men and boys. There was also a disparity between the number of unsolved homicides involving black adult female and white adult female victims, and thus a disparity in justice itself.

On the Outs: Reentry for Inmates With Disabilities

Author(s)
Jordan Melograna
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Advocates for curbing mass incarceration have succeeded in transforming the issue from a niche topic into a mainstream political movement. The movement has called out racial disparities in the system, the long-term effects on entire neighborhoods over generations, and the profiteering by private companies that get rich when people get locked up—among many, many other overlapping and intersecting issues. In 2013 I joined a campaign at the advocacy film company Brave New Films to make films tackling these issues. We and our partners made progress.

Beyond the Wall

Author(s)
Jenny Phillips
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More than any other medium, documentary film has the capacity to open hearts and change minds. We came to realize this through our previous film, The Dhamma Brothers, the story of a group of prisoners inside a maximum-security prison in Alabama who embark on a deep spiritual journey. These heartfelt stories of prisoners in search of inner peace and freedom while locked inside a prison evoke a universal dilemma recognizable by all. The viewer experiences a sense of shared humanity with the men who came to be known as the Dhamma Brothers.

Inmates Want Files to Prove Innocence. DA Can’t Find Them.

Author(s)
Jarrett Murphy, Executive Editor/Publisher, City Limits
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Bronx DA Office

Three years ago, City Limits started an internship program for high school and college students (or young people of college age) from the Bronx. The program, launched with the help of the Simon Bolivar Foundation and supported now by the Pinkerton Foundation, had three goals: provide paid work experience in the borough with the highest unemployment in New York City, introduce participants to the basics of investigative journalism, and produce stories that highlight underreported problems in the Bronx.

Should This Case Be Closed?

Author(s)
Julie Davis, Senior Program Specialist, NCCD
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When is it okay for the system to stop working with a family? How do we, as part of this system, decide that we have done all we can to make sure the family is functioning in a way that ensures child safety? This is one of the decision points in the life of a case that can be scary for workers.