Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2329849
 


 



Legal and Ethical Issues in the Prediction of Recidivism


Michael Tonry


University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - School of Law

September 11, 2013

Minnesota Legal Studies Research Paper No. 13-51

Abstract:     
Use of predictions of recidivism is ubiquitous in American criminal justice systems from pretrial detention to parole release and proceeds largely oblivious to fundamental ethical problems that were widely recognized and examined in the 1970s. They include the false positive problem that most people predicted to commit acts of serious violence would not, and their confinement for that reason is unjustified, that common use of fixed characteristics such as age and gender punish people for matters over which they have no control is per se unjust, that commonly used socioeconomic factors such as marital status, employment, education, and living discrimination, because they are heavily correlated with race and ethnicity, effectively discriminate against members of minority groups, and that use of some of the same socioeconomic factors punishes people for making lifestyle choices that are neither the state’s nor the law’s business.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 21

Keywords: prediction of recidivism, false positives, indirect discrimination

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Date posted: September 24, 2013  

Suggested Citation

Tonry, Michael, Legal and Ethical Issues in the Prediction of Recidivism (September 11, 2013). Minnesota Legal Studies Research Paper No. 13-51. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2329849 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2329849

Contact Information

Michael Tonry (Contact Author)
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - School of Law ( email )
229-19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States
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