Risk assessment software is used to make many decisions in the criminal justice system, including things like bond amounts.
As part of its research, ProPublica obtained the risk scores of more than 7,000 people arrested in Broward County, Florida, during a two year period 2013-2014 , and tracked these individuals in the two years following.
What ProPublica found was that the risk scores were remarkably unreliable in determining violent crimes.
The results were also weak when a full range of crimes were taken into account.
In one example from the article, an 18-year-old black female was arrested for stealing a kid s Huffy bicycle and razor scooter.
The black female was not charged with any new crimes, and the white male is now serving an eight-year prison term for breaking into a warehouse to steal thousands of dollars in electronics.