Algorithmic Tools in the UK Criminal Justice System

Algorithmic Tools in the UK Criminal Justice System: Practice, Transparency, and Regulation

The UK criminal justice (CJ) system has embraced the use of algorithmic tools. They are employed as decision aids from policing to parole decisions. This can bring benefits such as improved efficiency and consistency, but also raises concerns. I will talk about our recent survey of algorithmic tools deployed in the UK’s CJ system, and our work on police perspectives on the UK’s draft ‘Algorithmic Transparency Standard’. We found that transparency is critically lacking, but is achievable and may improve policing practices if it becomes an integral part of algorithm development and deployment. I will discuss the policy implications of our findings, and concrete proposals for formulation of standards and oversight mechanisms.

Relevant papers:

1. Transparency, Governance and Regulation of Algorithmic Tools Deployed in the Criminal Justice System: a UK Case Study

2. The UK Algorithmic Transparency Standard: A Qualitative Analysis of Police Perspectives

Dr Miri Zilka is a Research Fellow in the Machine Learning Group at the University of Cambridge where she works on Trustworthy Machine Learning. Her research centres around the deployment of algorithmic tools in criminal justice. Before coming to Cambridge, she was a Research Fellow in Machine Learning at the University of Sussex, focusing on fairness, equality, and access. Miri obtained a PhD from the University of Warwick in 2018. She holds an MSc in Physics and a dual BSc in Physics and Biology from Tel Aviv University.   Miri holds a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship to develop a human-centric framework for evaluating and mitigating risk in causal models. She is a College Research Associate at King’s College Cambridge and an Associate Fellow at Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence.

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