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March 2018    Website | Subscribe | Donate
Ethical Questions About Predictive Policing
NCCD has long pushed for transparency and other ethical considerations in the use of predictive analytics. Now, a new article by Ali Winston pulls back the curtain on a secretive predictive policing agreement in New Orleans. For years, New Orleans’ residents’ data have been used without their knowledge (and the knowledge of many of their elected officials) to try to predict who might commit a crime. In addition to concerns around privacy and civil liberties, there are outstanding questions about the effectiveness of the model.
This piece highlights many of the same ethical questions NCCD has raised about civil liberties and the use of data. For NCCD’s perspective on how to use predictive models ethically in justice settings, click here. If you’d like guidelines on how to use predictive analytics in child welfare settings, click here.
Limitations of Predicting Risk
In a new blog post, NCCD researcher Colleen Kerwin examines the limitations of predicting risk of recurrence in social service systems, including child and adult protection and juvenile and criminal justice. While admitting that those working within these systems must make decisions based on imperfect information (due to biases, the inability to measure true rates of recurrence, etc.), Kerwin posits that the information that is available can be helpful in making better decisions regarding which individuals and families can benefit most from the supports and services these systems offer.
NCCD Staff to Present on APS Assessment
Jennifer Cotter and Karen Meulendyke will lead a workshop at the American Society on Aging Conference in San Francisco at the end of March. Their workshop, titled "Accurate and Consistent Decision Making in Adult Protective Services With Assessment Tools," will cover how reliable, valid, and well-implemented assessments can help adult protective services (APS) agency staff make effective decisions at both case and agency levels regarding the vulnerable adults they serve. These tools also help agencies focus their resources on clients who are at highest risk for future abuse, neglect, self-neglect, or financial exploitation. Learn more about NCCD’s Structured Decision Making® system for APS here. Click here to learn more about this workshop and here to register for the conference.
NCCD Partners With Kansas Department for Children and Families
The NCCD Children’s Research Center is partnering with the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) to customize and implement SDM assessment tools for intake, safety, and risk. Project work also includes developing clear statewide policy and procedures for assessment completion, training child protection workers to enhance their practice skills, and using data to evaluate the changes made. Overall, this project aims to increase reliability and validity in decision making by child protection workers in Kansas. Learn more about the SDM system in child protection here.

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