Can Big Data Help Reduce Juvenile Incarceration?

You’ve probably heard the phrase “children are our future” more times than you can count. Even if you don’t have children of your own, it’s important to consider our collective youth and help set them up for a bright future. Without preparing the next generation to be productive members of society, we can look ahead to a future with increased crime, homelessness, and unemployment. Intervention before youths commit crimes is a great way to reduce prison populations and help keep people out of the cycle of poverty. But how can we accomplish that? Could big data help? Let’s take a look at its current role in crime prevention, and how it relates to juvenile crimes.

The Rise of “Predictive Policing”

Predictive analytics have been used to great effect by large companies to reduce inefficiencies and bring in more revenue. The number of potential applications for predictive analytics has been growing, however, and has even begun to spread to police departments. In the past, crime prevention has been based largely on cursory study of crime reports, and seasoned officers’ own knowledge of their area to help prevent crime before it starts. Today, algorithms are making that job easier and more effective than even …

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