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Professor’s Essay on Big Data and Policies Featured by London School of Economics & Newsweek

January 10, 2018

Filed Under: Faculty, News, Research

An essay written by College of Criminology and Criminal Justice Professor Dan Mears is currently being featured by the London School of Economics and Newsweek.

In the essay, “How Big Data can save America’s out of control criminal justice policies,” Mears explains that many policies designed to control crime lack any research-based foundation or continued evaluation. When combined with punishment-based responses, rather than prevention-based responses, these policies lead to a “cycle of dysfunction.” In the era of “big data,” Mears calls for criminal justice policy to move away from past short-cuts and move toward a future based on reliable and accurate information – a future we can obtain through “big data.”

Dr. Mears further explains in the essay, “We need insights about all aspects of criminal justice and corrections if we are to effectively reduce crime and create more justice.  That means investing in research that provides information about the day-to-day operations of the police, courts, and corrections, how well policies are well implemented, the impacts of these policies, and their cost-effectiveness.  It includes, too, the perspectives of residents most affected by crime.  Not least, it requires a commitment to improving systems of justice rather than to piecemeal, reactive responses to crime.”

This essay highlights a central implication from the argument Dr. Mears makes in his recent book, “Out-of-Control Criminal Justice:  The Systems Improvement Solution for More Safety, Justice, Accountability, and Efficiency.”  In the book, Dr. Mears presents a comprehensive strategy for bringing systems under control that would result in the reduction of crime and improve justice and accountability.

To read “How Big Data can save America’s out of control criminal justice policies” in its entirely, please visit the London School of Economics webpage. 

To learn more about Dr. Mears’ recent book,  “Out-of-Control Criminal Justice:  The Systems Improvement Solution for More Safety, Justice, Accountability, and Efficiency,” please visit FSU Criminology News.