back to article IBM predicts reoffending rates for prisoners

The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice is paying IBM to provide it with software which will predict which of its charges are most likely to reoffend, following a similar deal in the UK. Florida deals with 85,000 kids a year. It will use IBM's predictive analytics software alongside its existing screening systems. The …


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  1. Studley
    Black Helicopters

    Why wait until they've offended?

    Just run the predictive analysis software on the parents, and confiscate the kids at birth.

    Black helicopter, because a divide-by-zero error in a computer program means they're coming for you.

  2. Anonymous Coward


    Perhaps they can write a system to predict which major IT suppliers are most likely to fail to deliver to specification, to time, to budget on major government projects ? The country can then save millions by avoiding those vendors...

    1. JimC Silver badge

      > predict which major IT suppliers ... likely to fail to deliver ... on major government projects

      That's easy: all of them...

  3. Jamie 27

    Anyone who's read "IBM and the Holocaust"...

    ... won't be surprised to see IBM still involved in census-taking.

    Mine's the one with the punch card in the pocket....

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Bob Moffat

    Will he or won't he?

    (IBM Senior VP guilty of fraud)

  5. David Pollard

    @ Studley - RYOGENS

    "Why wait until they've offended?"

    They don't: the Child Database will already hold the appropriate details to make the diagnosis.The name 'Risk of Youth Offending Generic Solution' has been dropped in the last few years, for obvious reasons. Presumably there is an appropriate data format for easy import into the prisons predictor so as to ensure a cradle-to-grave management of the underclass.

  6. David Pollard

    3.4 million?

    "Last month the UK's Ministry of Justice signed a ... deal ... to cover 3.4 million prisoners in England and Wales

    The UK imprisons more people than any other western European country: currently about 85,000, up from 43,000 in 1993. (

    Even with their past record, Mssrs Straw, Blunkett and Co. must have their sights set high to be aiming for 3.4 million.

    1. fred #257
      Big Brother

      Only 3.4 million?

      That is an entirely realistic and easily attainable figure, in the light of all the recent legislation that Nu Liebore has passed. Rest assured that You Will Be Found To Be Guilty of Something, citizen.

  7. Anonymous Coward


    Surely this fails simply because of the impact of mistakes?

    Bad Science has covered this statistical issue quite a bit, but it seems IBM dont learn from anything....

  8. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Black Helicopters

    So if they have all this information

    What are they going to do about getting them to *not* re-offend?

    Or maybe work on eliminating the environments that produce high repeating offenders?

    My guess will be not a lot.

  9. sheila

    early intervention for all

  10. The_Police!

    Re-offending you say?

    Well, there is an app for that!

    Yes, yes, I know! Just getting my coat.

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