NSF funds Boise State research project on impact of big data in criminal justice

NSF funds Boise State research project on impact of big data in criminal justice
NSF funds Boise State research project on impact of big data in criminal justice
The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently awarded researchers from the Boise State Public Policy Research Center a $97,000 grant for a project that will evaluate the perceptions and effectiveness of big data as applied to criminal justice agencies in the western U.S.
 
“The underlying idea is big data is the ‘next big thing’ but the concern is that a lot of big data is manipulated, unintentionally or intentionally, at some point in the line before it reaches the decision makers expected to use the data,” Public Policy Research Center Director Eric Lindquist, the principle investigator for the project, said. “Data scientists create an algorithm and say, ‘This is what you should do, how you should view this data.’ But a lot of that may be biased.”
 
Boise doctoral student Kimberly Gardner, in the School of Public Service’s Public Policy and Administration program, proposed the project. She and Lindquist will work with computer scientists and representative of the criminal justice system to understand how they are developing algorithms, how the algorithms are used and their effects on the local system.
 
“One of the solutions we see being proposed in communities dealing with trust issues with the police is, ‘if we just start releasing all this data, the community will trust them more,’” Gardner said. “What we want to know is, where is it actually appropriate to use and when can it accomplish what people hope it will accomplish ... Big data could make the playing field more fair and help governments use their limited resources more efficiently. We just need to figure out how.”

Organizations in this story


Boise State University 1910 University Drive Boise, ID - 83725

Get notified the next time we write about Boise State University!