A California political commentator cautions that new software
that aims to release the state's prisoners early will endanger
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department hopes new software
created to detect criminals who have a low chance of committing new
crimes will help reduce overcrowded prisons. The Los Angeles jail
system has been under pressure to release prisoners early because
of California's prison realignment program that shifts
thousands of low-level offenders to local jails.
The Los Angeles Times reports that
the software includes a survey that questions inmates about their
past and their current emotional state. Low-risk inmates may be
able to serve their sentences outside of jail with electronic
But Craig Huey, founder of the California
Election Forum, says the safety of California is at risk and
justice is being ignored.
"They're not serving their terms, and this software is basically
an interesting rationale to try to help filter out who to release
early and who not to. I'm a total skeptic," Huey comments.
"Software being able to predict human behavior? I don't think that
it's going to be something that's going to work. I think that it's
endangering the public."
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has already screened
over 3,000 inmates and could start placing low-risk
inmates under house arrest within the next several months.
The LA Times notes that department has been criticized for
letting inmates out early, only to see them rearrested for new
crimes, including murder.