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The Judicial System and Policing

Lady Justice Statue


Ravi Shroff has co-authored two papers on the judicial system and policing.

Simple rules to guide expert classifications (JRSSA, 2020) describes a simple method for constructing interpretable statistical models to guide expert decisions. This method is evaluated in 22 domains, and focuses on one outcome: judicial pretrial release decisions. Across domains, simple, interpretable models rival the performance of complex prediction models that base recommendations on much more information.

A large-scale analysis of racial disparities in police stops across the United States (Nature Human Behavior, 2020) describes the compilation and analysis of a dataset of nearly 100 million municipal and state patrol traffic stops conducted in dozens of jurisdictions around the country—the largest such effort to date. The paper measures racial disparities in police interactions with the public, and examines the effects of legalizing recreational marijuana in Colorado and Washington state. There is an associated website with the cleaned and raw data, tutorials, and visualizations for exploring the data.