Policing Criminal Justice Data

76 Pages Posted: 11 Apr 2016 Last revised: 22 Mar 2019

See all articles by Wayne A. Logan

Wayne A. Logan

Florida State University - College of Law

Andrew Guthrie Ferguson

American University Washington College of Law

Date Written: April 2, 2016


This article addresses a matter of fundamental importance to the criminal justice system: the presence of erroneous information in government databases and the limited government accountability and legal remedies for the harm that it causes individuals. While a substantial literature exists on the liberty and privacy perils of large multi-source data assemblage, often termed "big data," this article addresses the risks associated with the collection, generation and use of "small data" (i.e., individual-level, discrete data points). Because small data provides the building blocks for all data-driven systems, enhancing its quality will have a significant positive effect on the criminal justice system as a whole. The article examines the many contexts in which criminal justice data errors arise and offers institutional and legislative solutions designed both to lessen their occurrence and afford relief to those suffering the significant harms they cause.

Keywords: data, police, false arest, big data, criminal justice system

JEL Classification: K14

Suggested Citation

Logan, Wayne A. and Ferguson, Andrew Guthrie, Policing Criminal Justice Data (April 2, 2016). 101 Minnesota Law Review 541 (2016), FSU College of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 799, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2761069

Wayne A. Logan (Contact Author)

Florida State University - College of Law ( email )

425 W. Jefferson Street
Tallahassee, FL 32306
United States

Andrew Guthrie Ferguson

American University Washington College of Law ( email )

4300 Nebraska Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20016
United States

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