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Civil Rights Groups Say Using Algorithms In Risk-Based Bail Assessments Is A Problem

The Advanced Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Color of Change, MoveOn and 115 other groups signed a statement of concern about the use of pretrial “risk assessment” algorithms to determine bail . The amount of state and local governments turning to algorithms to determine pretrial flight and criminal recidivism risks. The algorithm was intended to remove bias from pretrial hearings to reduce jail overcrowding, etc. But i n the statement, the groups explain that our justice system is still disproportionately impacting communities of color.  Because of this, the data entered reflects those flaws. This makes what might be intended to be objective or neutral actually biased tools that will continue to add to the discrepancies in the justice system. The organizations are also calling for the government to follow principles, including the following: If in use, a pretrial risk assessment instrument must be designed and...