Switch to ADA Accessible Website
Orlando Criminal Lawyer

The Use of AI in The Criminal Justice System Should Alarm All of Us


Many people likely do not know about a phenomenon that is known as criminal sentencing AI, whereby an algorithm is used in the criminal justice system to estimate the likelihood of a criminal defendant committing future crime. In a number of cases, reports that are based on these algorithms are used and relied on by prosecutors to determine what is considered a fair punishment; for example, whether they are OK with probation versus juvenile detention.

Unfortunately, the underlying methodology that these reports are based on is extremely concerning, and includes heightened risk assessment based on factors that are unquestionably racially biased, such as having a negative attitude about the police and living in government-subsidized housing. In addition, the assessment technology has not been properly validated by any scientific or judicial body. In effect, for more than a decade, the number of juvenile defendants, for example, have been judged and committed to detention facilities due to a tool that is based on an unpublished graduate student’s thesis.

“Machine Bias” & Opacity

In reality, criminal assessment tools like this are still being used all over the country; playing a devastating role in our criminal justice system, where a number of cities and states are placing citizen’s lives in the hands of algorithms that are nothing more than mathematical expressions of biases.

Take, for example, the risk assessment tools known as COMPAS, which has been consulted by a number of judges to reject plea deals in connection with a number of minor crimes and, as a result, justify imposing new sentences that double a defendant’s time served in prison. COMPAS scored 7,000 people arrested in Broward County, Florida, and in comparing those scores with the criminal histories of the same people years after they were arrested, the scores ended up being remarkably unreliable in forecasting violent crime, where only 20 percent of those predicted to commit future crimes actually did so. In addition, the algorithm was twice as likely to falsely flag black defendants as future criminals compared to white defendants.

What’s perhaps even more concerning is that these companies do not have to share any information about how the technology works with the courts, therefore, no one has any idea how the scores are computed.

Positive Potential?

Still, some argue that these algorithms can also play a positive role. For example, some states have only been willing to eliminate cash bail if judges are allowed to consult an algorithm that determines whether the defendant is a high risk for future crimes. Some argue that these algorithms can be part of a plan for states to decrease incarceration and overall crime by separating out defendants who are more likely to re-commit violent crimes.

If You Have Been Accused of a Crime, Contact Our Florida Criminal Defense & Civil Rights Attorneys

Failing to work with an experienced, reliable criminal defense attorney is what makes you vulnerable to corrupt tools and biases like these. If you have been arrested for a crime, contact our experienced Orlando & Miami criminal attorneys at the Baez Law Firm today to find out how we can help.





  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn

Miami Office

1200 Brickell Avenue, Suite 1410
Miami, FL 33131
Office: 305-999-5100
Fax: 305-999-5111

Orlando Office

250 N Orange Ave, Suite 750
Orlando, FL 32801
Office: 407-705-2626
Fax: 407-705-2625

Email Us

Fields Marked * Are required

DISCLAIMER: Completing and submitting this form or otherwise merely contacting The Baez Law Firm or any individual at the firm will not establish an attorney/client relationship. Our firm cannot represent you until we determine that there would be no conflict of interest and that we are otherwise able to accept representation of your case. Please do not send any information or documents until a formal attorney/client relationship has been established through an interview with an attorney and you have been given authorization in the form of an engagement letter with The Baez Law Firm. Any information or documents sent via this form or otherwise prior to your receipt of an engagement letter will not be treated as confidences, secrets, or protected information of any nature. Submitting information regarding your potential case will not bar The Baez Law Firm from representing or continuing to represent a person or entity whose interest are adverse to your in condition with your case.

protected by reCAPTCHA Privacy - Terms
Please review the highlighted fields. They are required.
DISCLAIMER: This website contains information about The Baez Law Firm that includes testimonial statements from persons who are familiar with the firm's services. The testimonials shown are not necessarily representative of every person's experience with us. Testimonials from every client are not provided. As no two situations or persons are identical, the facts and circumstances of your situation may differ from those for which testimonials are shown. This website also includes information about some of the past results that we have obtained for our clients. Not all results are provided, and the results shown are not necessarily representative of all results obtained by us. No two situation are exactly alike; every person's situation is unique and the outcome for each person depends on the individual facts.

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.
MileMark Media - Practice Growth Solutions

© 2015 - 2024 Baez Law Firm. All rights reserved.
This law firm website and legal marketing are managed by MileMark Media.

Contact Form Tab Contact Form Tab