Department of Pre-Crime

Jeralyn at TalkLeft received this from the Department of Justice:

The Department of Justice’s (DOJ) National Institute of Justice and Bureau of Justice Assistance are hosting a symposium November 18-20, 2009, to explore the potential for implementing predictive policing strategies to help make communities safer. Predictive policing integrates data analysis with law enforcement strategies and tactics. To find out how best to apply predictive policing approaches, the DOJ is supporting a number of police departments nationwide in demonstrations, or field experiments, designed to test the effectiveness of various predictive policing strategies and techniques.

Without greater drug policy reform, I somehow doubt that “predictive policing” is going to lead us to improved policing. It seems much more likely to lead to an additional excuse for suspicion-less searches of black youths in urban areas, with any “minority reports” conveniently suppressed.

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17 Responses to Department of Pre-Crime

  1. ezrydn says:

    Pre-Crime??? Somebody’s been watching too much television. What’s this series of “demonstrations” supposed to do? Recruit prospective “precogs?” Will it also be implemented to stop police misbehavior? I say the DOJ should use it ON police departments instead of handing it TO them. Test it ON, not THROUGH, the several departments. Prove it works BEFORE you unleash “beginners.” Can the new “system” pass the “transparancy” test??

  2. kant says:

    wow, so much for the innocent until proven guilty idea. It sounds like we’re jumping straight into the assumed guilty category. I haven’t actually watched the prisoner but one of the good quotes from a commercial for it was “Everyone has guilt, it’s just a matter of finding out what they’re guilty of”…or something to that effect.

  3. R.O.E. says:

    Everyone has sin,imperfection. Its just a matter of how to use said imperfections to their advantage. Free country? Becareful how close you look for the rabbit hole goes deep.

  4. Nocturne woods of Belial says:

    Taser manufacturers stocks probably just went up. It gets wilder every day here in the fading banana republik farce.

  5. Steve Clay says:

    Alternate drug policies may reduce crime, but in the meantime we’ve got plenty of crime worth worrying about. After reading the list of “predictive policing” examples on page 6, I don’t hear any ominous music. Seems more like ideas to make smarter use of resources than ways to further erode the 4th Amendment. Also:

    [proposed models will be] subjected to rigorous evaluation for criminal justice outcomes and impacts.

    Sounds like something we need more of.

  6. kaptinemo says:

    Given that just about every new use of technology on the part of law enforcement has had a very chilling effect upon civil liberties (think tasers), I’d be more than a little concerned.

    Keep in mind the ‘Broken Windows Theory’ was used to ratchet up the arrests for cannabis ‘offenses’ in New York in Giuliani’s and now Bloomberg’s reign. All predicated upon ‘crime prevention’, when in fact you can’t honestly say that such tactics actually worked.

    But because ‘Broken Windows’ is the current apologia for right-wing authoritarianism expressed ‘legally’, and that the majority of those involved in the prosecution of the DrugWar definitely hail from such a background, it becomes even more important to ‘police the police’ to prevent these ‘anti-crime’ ‘tools’ from being misused as they have in the past.

  7. claygooding says:

    They are talking shop on whether continuing busts on marijuana is economically feasible,they already know it is safer to bust potheads,but will they make enough cash in their coffers if our government goes to the treatment instead of incarceration roll. Who will they fill the prisons with
    if they lose the potheads? They know it will have to be poor people,as usual,but they may have to actually go after a violent criminal and that changes the stakes.
    They may have to do some actual protect and serve instead of search and seize.

  8. Woah, our friends at the DOJ seem to have fallen in love with Minority Report (with Tom Cruise). A couple quick morning thoughts about pre-crime.

    First off, “predicting” who is more likely to violate the law is completely ridiculous. With demographical reports, one can observe a general trend of sociological patterns, but a these trends can’t be generalized, and usually change over time.

    Then, I’m wondering what the authorities are planning to concretely do with this “pre-crime” program. Are we going to arrest people for being part of social categories where crime is more prevalent? If a pre-crime department was put in place, wouldn’t factors like race, religion, age, and social class be used to target “potential criminals?” If so, then how would that be seen as legitimate? If not, which factors would be used instead, and how much more neutral would they be?

    My attention also comes to the very idea that we could be spending resources on a pre-crime program. With the War on Drugs, we’re spending resources on incarcerating those who commit victimless crimes, and we’re shown its a waste of time. Now the DOJ wants to spend resources on incarcerating those who haven’t even committed a crime at all?

    There are other points I could be making about this absurd idea, but I’m going to leave that to more articulate individuals who probably would do a better job. The last thing I have to say is that even in Spielberg’s “Minority Report,” where they use advanced technology and paranormal visions to track down pre-criminals, the program does not work, and I have reasons to believe that we won’t be that successful at it either.

  9. Hope says:

    I think maybe our police need to focus on past crime and present crime instead of “predictive” crime.

  10. Hope says:

    Another blood sucking louse on the itchy, collective scalp of the citizens of the USA.

  11. Buc says:

    Funny how 1984 gets closer to becoming a reality every day.

    Mr. Orwell was just off by a few decades.

  12. DdC says:

    How do you spell profiling?

    This entire political baboonery doesn’t only attempt pre crime prevention. They also treat anyone on disability as criminals, then if they prove they’re not, ok, but only after inspections and threats. Same with probation for pot using unConstitutional pisstastes. Slumlords do exist, but this invasion of privacy has nothing to do with slumlords. Like any thug they should be busted. But we don’t close the banks because of robberies, why treat the poor with such indignation? California apartment owners think they can stop patients from using Ganja under threats of eviction, in spite of prop 215. Those who rent out apartments give up their ownership when they cash the rent check. Same as renting a car. Heart doesn’t pull you over to see if you’re smoking, they charge you big bucks if they smell it. Security deposits are for owners to pay for clean up. Not treating everyone as criminals. So this is just another fascist attempt at curtailing Americans rights. Like the pussy German population sitting on their keesters while Hitler gained power. The corporate government can only do what we let them. The fact they do so much is only testimony to the lack of involvement by us we the peoples. Let have a law against obedient cowards.

    Sacked Adviser Urges Cannabis Probe
    Sacked government drugs adviser Prof David Nutt has called for a Royal Commission to investigate whether cannabis should be decriminalised.

    The War on the War on Drugs
    If Ex-Governor Gary Johnson was president, the first thing he would do about drug policy is “legalize marijuana”.

    Now this is a true Republican, not a Neoconjob fascist.

    Bill O’Reilly & Cheech and Chong on Legalization of Marijuana

    This was pretty good, totally subverting O’Really. Then Tommy sticks his foot in his mouth asking for Ganja to be a schedule#2. WTF! Nixon lied dude, no scheduling is appropriate, not letting big Pharma make big bucks while Ganja is still stigmatized. Damn stoners.

  13. The “Minority Report” comparison is apt. But only in Hollywood can an end to a bad government policy come about so quickly. If Obama allows Holder to implement such a policy after the trials, it will be criminal and just another slap in the face to drug policy reformers.

    The flaw in the belief that Obama is waiting until his second term to effect real drug policy reform is the assumption he’ll have a second term. At this stage of his game, that is anything but a far-gone conclusion.

  14. Buc says:

    The folks waiting for Obama to do something in his second term are going to be as excited as the folks that were waiting for Bush to become a fiscal conservative in his second term.

  15. ezrydn says:


    It’s suggested that, since I’ve waited a long time, I’ll wait for the second term. Well, I’ve waited long enough and if I don’t see the “change,” I’ll be on whoever’s side that’s running against him. Then, we’ll see if he’s got a chuckle left. CODIFY IT….NOW! Otherwise, it’s meaningless when the next administration takes office.

  16. Wendy says:


    God is gonna hit ’em with a ‘hot rock’ from outer space.


  17. Wendy says: com/watch?v=68dM1H

    ..someone just had this on MPP.Blog.

    ..I’m sure he won’t mind our cross-referencing.

    ..cannabis fights cancer!

    ..we’re all spreading the good word.

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