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Minority Report: Secret software could predict future crime

Minority Report: Secret software could predict future crime
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Prisons around the country are now experimenting with software designed to predict which prisoners are more likely to commit more crimes in the future. It might sound like the plot of the sci-fi movie "Minority Report," but it's not. States are actually trying to predict the future in order to reduce prison populations and save money.

Prison overpopulation is a major issue in this country and it's costing states lots of money each year. Several states are now using these prediction programs to try lower prison population and possibly save billions of dollars in the process. The programs rely on huge questionnaires that look at all sorts of factors like income, family history and employment status.

A score is affixed to each answer and the result helps shape how the offender will be supervised in the system — or released from custody.

So, does it work? Not quite. While there is some research to back up these types of programs, they've also led to some serious issues in the past.

Next page: Can states predict future crime?
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