Actuarial Risk Prediction and the Criminal Justice System


Consider the following scenario: Two defendants, Robert and William, are convicted of the same crime—Each stole $10,000 worth of jewelry from a jewelry store. Neither has any prior convictions. In other ways, their situations differ.

Robert is a regional manager of a jewelry store chain; he is 35, married, college-educated, grew up in a stable middle-class family, and now lives in a suburban house with a comfortable income. Over the course of several months, he stole a number of diamonds and replaced them with fakes, selling the proceeds and using them to pay for the lease on a luxury car.

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