A corporate press release last week boasted that the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice is using IBM “predictive analytics” to determine which juvenile offenders in custody are likely to re-offend. An offender’s rehabilitation program may depend upon the results of this analysis, which is a form of data mining to discover from data sets correlations that would otherwise be hidden. The software is a product created by SPSS, a company recently acquired by IBM.
Evidently, the U.K. Ministry of Justice is already using SPSS’s predictive analytics for the same purpose in connection with the population of adult offenders in custody. As well, the Richmond Virginia Police Department makes use of the software to assist in better deploying its forces and in identifying potentially serious crimes or offenders.
The SPSS program was initially developed for marketing to businesses as an aid to increase their “business intelligence.”