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Reducing recidivism

A less controversial use of data can be found on the other end of the justice system, with more judges using software to help inform decisions on sentencing and early releases. The software is also being used to allocate services for returning citizens to help them avoid reoffending. Zack Goodman, a senior data scientist with the criminal-justice data platform Recidiviz, said that rather than making predictions, Recidiviz provides states with a “ground truth” about their populations, whichin turn can be used to make decisions. “I think the idea there is when you have finite parole officer resources, knowing how much one person needs attention versus another person can help you allocate the finite resources a little better,” Goodman said. 

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