Computer Predicts Prisoners' Chances Of Murdering Again

A university professor has invented a computer program with crystal ball powers, only its channel is tuned purely to predicting the probability of murders - specifically, if inmates at a Pennsylvanian prison will ever kill again.

Richard Berk, the University of Pennsylvania professor, has successfully placed it in the probation departments of Philadelphia and Baltimore police departments and awarded a $US228,000 grant to build a program that can be used for the state parole board by next year.

It's a high-tech number-crunching system, with thousands of details on prison inmates' details being entered, along with information on their release. This will help build profiles of behavioural patterns, and when the system is ready, the user will be able to get a more accurate prediction on how they're likely to act once released, based on other similar cases.

They're able to see that inmates who are more likely to murder again after being released, with a few facts already being known - that usually they're male and under 30 and committed their first act of violence by the time they were 13. Really, I could've told them that. [The Morning Call via DVICE]

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