The predictive policing revolution that wasn’t.

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Dianne Tramutola-lLawson

Oct 3, 2023, 9:33:10 AMOct 3

From: "The Marshall Project" <>
Sent: Tuesday, October 3, 2023 5:16 AM
Subject: The predictive policing revolution that wasn’t.
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Edited by Beth Schwartzapfel   Opening Statement
Edited by Beth Schwartzapfel

Pick of the News

The predictive policing revolution that wasn’t. Years after tech companies promised a revolution in policing by being able to accurately predict when and where crime was going to happen, it’s increasingly clear that software has a long way to go. An analysis of more than 23,000 predictions made by industry leader Geolitica in the Plainfield, New Jersey, police department found that the algorithm was right less than 1% of the time. The Markup TMP Context: In 2016, staff writer Maurice Chammah rode along with the St. Louis County Police Department as they tested out predictive policing software in the wake of the unrest in Ferguson. The Marshall Project

Trump fraud trial kicks off in New York. Day one of the civil trial against Donald Trump, several of his children, associates, and businesses, began in New York on Monday. The evidence included a videotaped deposition by disgraced Trump attorney Michael Cohen, who described how the former president would inflate the value of his properties — a claim central to the case. “Let’s say he was worth $6 billion, but he wanted to be higher on the Forbes list. So he would say I’m not worth $6 billion, I’m worth 7 or 8.” Politico Related: Trump claims his business dealings were not fraudulent because they always included a “worthless clause,” as he described to reporters: “It makes the statement, and anything you read in the statement, worthless. It says, ‘Go out and do your own research, go out and do your own due diligence, you have to study the statement carefully. Do not believe anything.’” A fact check says…do not believe anything. CNN

Thought the Supreme Court was done ruling on abortion and guns? Think again. In their upcoming term, the justices will weigh issues with enormous implications for criminal justice, including whether domestic abusers can have guns. ​​Almost three years after the seating of Justice Amy Coney Barrett created a conservative supermajority, it seems clear “the court’s six Republican appointees will continue to move the law to the right. The main questions are how far, how fast” and whether concerns about their ethics will impact their decisions. The New York Times

“Sometimes when you kill a crab, the brain splatters.” Underage migrants — some as young as 14 years old — are working in seafood processing plants in New Bedford, Massachusetts. They apply to staffing agencies using fake IDs, and work long, grueling shifts that affect their ability to attend school. It’s emblematic of a larger problem: “an oversight system ill-equipped to stop the flow of migrant children into dangerous jobs.” The Public’s Radio TMP Context: Immigrants put seafood on America’s tables. But many have been shut out of pandemic aid — and so have their U.S. citizen children. The Marshall Project


Months after The Marshall Project investigated the issue of “fetal personhood” laws, leading to hundreds of prosecutions, a North Carolina paper drills down on how “a positive drug test can set in motion a process that lands women behind bars, childless and lacking support in a state without widespread access to best-practice drug treatment,” they report. The Post and Courier TMP Context: Hundreds of women who used drugs while pregnant have faced criminal charges — even when they delivered healthy babies. The Marshall Project

In Montana, people with mental illness accused of crimes languish in local jails for up to a year, waiting for beds to open at the state psychiatric hospital. They’re too ill to stand trial, but there’s no room for them at the only place in the state that can stabilize them. “Yes, they broke the law. Yes, they're not safe to be out in the public. But being in jail is not the answer for them, either,” said one frustrated jail administrator. NPR

The Illinois Traffic Stop Statistical Study Act — a 2003 law sponsored by a young state senator named Barack Obama — was meant to bring unprecedented transparency and accountability to police targeting Black drivers. Instead, 20 years later, the racial gap among those stopped by police is growing, and police agencies continue to flout the law’s reporting requirements. WBEZ

Lockups in Louisiana are increasingly deadly, a new report finds. Between the state’s prisons, jails, and juvenile detention facilities, there’s been a 50% jump in deaths from 2019 to 2021. PBS NewsHour Related: It’s not just Louisiana, either. Thirty-three people have died in the Los Angeles County Jail this year — an average of one death per week, mostly driven by overcrowding. Vera


“Addicts and alcoholics cannot prove their need for treatment by requesting it. They’ve gotta bleed and pee for it. And even that might not be enough.” This haunting essay by a “Senior Admissions Specialist” (“Unofficially, I’m an addict who stopped doing drugs and started taking these calls,” writes Wilson M. Sims) lays bare the terrible maze of barriers that result in only 7% of people who need substance use treatment actually receiving it. Longreads

There’s no such thing as an “open secret.” Recent sexual misconduct allegations against British comedian Russell Brand raise the same questions we’ve been asking for years, ever since the #MeToo movement gained traction. Not: Why did it take victims so long to speak up? Instead: Why do observers who know what these men are up to protect them with silence? The Boston Globe

What a New Mexico gunman in a MAGA hat teaches us about presidential politics in 2024: that Trump supporters are done with traditional campaigning, elections and governing through policy — preferring violence and the threat of violence to advance their agenda instead. Philadelphia Inquirer

Make “actual innocence” reason enough to challenge a conviction. The Buffalo News Editorial Board calls on New York Gov. Kathy Hochul to sign new legislation that makes it easier for people with innocence claims to challenge their convictions and get exonerated. Buffalo News


Finally, an arrest in Tupac Shakur’s murder. Almost 30 years after the death of rapper Tupac Shakur in a drive-by shooting on the Las Vegas strip, authorities last week announced an arrest in his murder. Duane Keith “Keefe D” Davis has long been on the authorities’ list of suspects, but it wasn’t until this year that police executed a search warrant that led to his arrest. Pitchfork

I went to prison with a ninth-grade education. Today, I'm a contributing editor for Esquire. John J. Lennon on a recent New York state prison directive that almost muzzled prison journalists — and why there’s power in incarcerated people telling their own stories. Esquire TMP Context: New York state tried to limit writings and artistic works from prisoners — illustrating a growing issue across the country. The Marshall Project

“Oh, wow, this is like Radio City Music Hall.” Comedian and actor John Leguizamo performed his one-man show “Ghetto Klown” for more than 400 young men at New York’s notorious Rikers Island jail. A new documentary, “John Leguizamo Live at Rikers,” captures the experience. NBC News

The Adnan Syed saga collides with the victims’ rights movement. At the hearing last year, when a judge vacated the conviction of Adnan Syed in the murder of Hae Min Lee, Lee’s family did not have enough notice to be able to attend — they were forced to participate remotely. Whether that violated Maryland’s victims’ rights law, and what the state must do about it, is at the heart of a state Supreme Court hearing this week. State Court Report

Beth Schwartzapfel is a staff writer who often covers addiction and health, probation and parole, and LGBTQ+ issues. She is the reporter and host of [Violation](, a podcast examining an unthinkable crime, second chances, and who pulls the levers of power in the justice system.

Opening Statement curates timely articles on criminal justice and immigration; these links are not endorsements of specific articles or points of view.

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