In a period where people are gripped with fear of crime and violence, the words “predictive policing” are comforting to hear. They are a perfect combination of advanced technology and predicting human behavior, which are two of the current human obsessions nowadays. They are also believed to address crime-related issues that most countries in the Western World, particularly, the United States, are obsessing about. This can be observed by how law and order is being pushed in this year’s presidential campaign.
In a recent article published in the AEON blog about predictive policing, it states that “a system that effectively anticipated future crime could allow an elusive reconciliation, protecting the innocents while making sure that only the truly guilty are targeted.”
Additionally, reports say “based on statistical analysis of crime data and mathematical modeling of criminal activity, predictive policing is intended to forecast where and when crimes will happen. The seemingly unassailable goal is to use resources to fight crime and serve communities most effectively. Police departments and city administrations have welcomed this approach, believing it can substantially cut crime. William Bratton, who in September stepped down as commissioner of New York City’s police department – the nation’s biggest – calls it the future of policing.”
However, issues of concern also arise with regards to predictive policing. The article says that “the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has issued multiple warnings that predictive policing could encourage racial profiling, and could finger individuals or groups selected by the authorities as crime-prone, or even criminal, without any crime.”
More specifically, the article says “But even if predictive policing cuts crime as claimed, which is open to question, it raises grave concerns about its impact on civil rights and minorities.”
Read the full article here: aeon.co
Fighting and addressing crimes is important in order for citizens to be assured they are living in a safe community. Predictive policing may be necessary as long as it is implemented well and ensuring that all rights are being considered. This is not a process for authorities and courts to use as a means to convict a person even with poor evidence for racism reasons, like in the case of George Allen, who spent most of his life in jail for a crime not fully proven as his doing. While George Allen was eventually released from jail, it came a little too late.
According to an article published in the St. Louis Post Dispatch, part of George Allen’s letter about his life in jail goes: “??Jail has stolen away my dreams … the truth is hard to swallow…with all the ferocious fighting in prison, your everyday dreams become far and few in between which is a low-down dirty shame…”?
Allen, 60, died of natural causes last Oct. 16 and was laid to rest on Wednesday. He was found by his family in his bedroom. Allen faced murder and rape convictions even with very poor evidence, but he was freed after these convictions were reversed and spent four years of freedom before his death.
Allen’s mother, Lonzetta Taylor, 85, said, “??I prayed and cried for 29 years for God to let me see my son walk out of that prison.”
According to reports on his release, “George Allen is joined by family and supporters upon his release from prison in Jefferson City on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. A judge earlier in the month overturned Allen’s conviction in the murder of Mary Bell in St. Louis. Allen spent almost 30 years behind bars.”
While predictive policing might be the solution to reducing crime to the lowest rates, fair consideration and proper implementations should be observed to make the true criminals pay and the innocent be vindicated.
Featured image courtesy of govetech.com
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