In the News

To Minimize Injustice, Use Big Data

August 20, 2014
 
In recent weeks, there have been questions about the criminal justice system’s use of “big data” in sentencing decisions. Some have even alleged that the practice is “deeply unfair and almost certainly unconstitutional.” This assertion is simply incorrect.

Pension Debt Strains Chicago’s Finances, Threatens Retiree Security

 
Moody’s Investors Service last week downgraded the City of Chicago’s credit rating yet again, barely eight months after a triple notch hit last July. The latest downgrade of Chicago’s general obligation bonds to Baa1 means Chicago now has the worst credit rating of any major U.S.

Anne Milgram's ‪Ted Talk: “Why smart statistics are the key to fighting ‪crime.”

In this TED talk, LJAF Vice President of Criminal Justice Anne Milgram explains how she is using data analytics and statistical analysis to transform the criminal justice system.  

Watch Anne's TED Talk here: Anne Milgram: Why smart statistics are the key to fighting crime

Bad Science Hurts Us All: A Call to End “Man Bites Dog”-Style Publication

 
Say you had a neighborhood with high levels of crime and a high degree of police presence – in social science research terms, a “high correlation” between police presence and crime.  Would you immediately conclude that police officers cause crime?  You probably would not, because you would recognize that the police presence in the neighborhood at issue was more likely to be a response to, and not a cause of, elevated crime in the area.
 
Let’s say yo

No Evidence Peanut Butter Will Protect Against Breast Cancer

 
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and you may have seen recent headlines claiming that, according to a new study, peanut butter may prevent breast cancer. To quote headlines from Yahoo and Fox News, respectively, “Calling All Peanut Butter Lovers!

Laura and John Arnold: Let’s Prevent Another Detroit

For years, economic experts have warned about the risks and potential financial calamities associated with underfunded pensions. Sadly, this future has arrived. Detroit recently earned the dubious distinction of being the largest municipality in the United States ever to declare bankruptcy, with retirement-related debt constituting over 80 percent of the city’s unsecured debt. Perhaps no group will feel the pain of this bankruptcy more than Detroit’s public employees, and especially its almost 20,000 retirees.