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First POST: Intellectuals

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, December 12 2013

Why you should get off Facebook; where the women tech intellectuals are at; the PCCC gets poked and prodded; NYC's police crime data policy gets stopped and frisked; and much, much more. Read More

Bill Bratton and the Ideology of Data: NYC and the Future of Policing

BY Ingrid Burrington | Friday, December 6 2013

New York City Compstat weekly crime data, 11/18-24/13

The disappointment and outrage at Bill de Blasio's appointment of Bill Bratton as NYPD Police Commissioner isn't just about stop-and-frisk. It isn't just about Bratton's profiteering in the private security industry. It's also about data--how governments think about data, how they use (and misuse) data, and what happens when that data means more to governments than the human beings and lives it's supposed to represent.

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San Francisco District Attorney Wants to Turn Prosecution From "Art" to Data "Science"

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, June 4 2013

San Francisco's District Attorney George Gascón wants to use statistical analysis to be smart on crime.

If justice is blind, it won't stay that way in San Francisco for long. Right now, all city district attorney George Gascón knows about the defendants his office prosecutes is that each of his prosecutors handles, on average, 185 felony cases and 700 misdemeanor cases per year. He wants to know far more, and says his office is now building a database to profile defendants by attributes such as age, ethnicity, gender, education, work history, mental health and substance abuse issues. The system will also track "stabilizing forces" in their lives, such as whether they have housing. This information will help prosecutors decide how to handle their cases, he says. "We're trying to move this process away from being an art to being a science," Gascón said in an interview. Read More