Campus alert status is yellow: For the latest campus alert status, news and resources, visit umassmed.edu/coronavirus

Search Close Search
Search Close Search
Page Menu

Webinar Opportunity on Justice System Racial and Ethnic Disparities

Date Posted: Wednesday, January 27, 2021

 

iSPARC reseacher Gina Vincent will be presenting Racist Algorithms or Systemic Problems? Risk Assessments and Race for a MHS 90-minute webinar on March 24, 2021.

As recent and historical events attest; racial and ethnic disparities are widely engrained into the justice system. Recently, scholars and policymakers have raised concerns that risk assessment instruments may exacerbate these disparities. While it is critical that risk instruments be scrutinized for racial bias, some concerns, though well-meaning, have gone beyond the evidence. This article explains what it means for an instrument to be ‘biased’ and why instruments should not all be painted with the same brush (some will be more susceptible to bias than others). If some groups get apprehended more, those groups will score higher on non-biased, well-validated instruments derived to maximize prediction of recidivism because of mathematics. Thus, risk instruments shine a light on long-standing systemic problems of racial disparities. This presentation will conclude with suggestions for research and for minimizing disparities by suggesting that systems use appropriately validated risk assessment instruments to avoid unnecessary incarceration while also allowing for structured discretion.

Learn more and register here.