Free Case Evaluation
  • American Broadcasting Company
  • Bar Register - Preeminent Lawyers 2017 Martindale Hubbell(R)
  • NADC
  • NBC
  • Martindale Hubbell Preeminent Lawyers
  • Top Lawyers in Florida 2014
  • CNN
  • Better Business Bureau
  • Fox
  • The National Trial Lawyers Top 100
  • AVVO
  • HLN TV
Michael A. Gottlieb, P.A.
“Out of the Box” Defense Strategy
Free Case Evaluation

How the U.S. army is crunching data to prevent violent crime

Chances are good that you've heard of predictive analytics, meaning the extraction of information from existing data pools as a means of identifying patterns, and forecasting certain outcomes or movements.

Chances are also good that you've heard of predictive analytics being used to help law enforcement officials identify areas where they think crimes are most likely to occur, such that a stronger presence can be dispatched to these so-called trouble spots.

As interesting as this is, consider the efforts currently underway by the U.S. Army, which is now using the functional equivalent of predictive analytics to try to identify those soldiers most likely to commit a violent crime.

While it may sound like something out of a science fiction film, army researchers created a data pool consisting of 975,057 soldiers who served between 2004 and 2009, and 5,771 of which were convicted of violent felonies such as kidnapping, robbery manslaughter, or murder.

Utilizing a technique referred to as machine learning, they then began to look for any sort of patterns and, once these patterns were discovered, used them to create a so-called risk model identifying 24 factors common to the male soldiers with records of violent crimes. These factors included everything from being young and raised in poverty to disciplinary problems and recent demotions.

In order to test their risk model, the army researchers selected a random group of 43,248 soldiers who served between 2011 and 2013, and used the model to identify the 5 percent of the group it believed to be most at-risk. They subsequently found that this group was indeed behind a whopping 51 percent of the violent crimes committed among these 43,248 soldiers.  

While more testing needs to be performed and the uses of the risk model remain unclear, the army researchers indicate that it could be used to help identify at-risk soldiers and provide them with personalized instruction designed to supplement the violence-prevention training that all soldiers already receive.

As impressive as this technology is, it is also somewhat disconcerting. Indeed, it raises a host of unanswered questions concerning privacy rights and, more significantly, the potential for abuse among those in charge. Here's hoping we see these questions answered before anything like this is rolled out in a civilian capacity.

What are your thoughts?

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

We Can Help Now

Contact Us Right Away

You need to act fast to get your loved one out of custody. Dial 954-462-1005 to get immediate answers from one of our attorneys. Sending an email is another way to reach us for a free initial consultation. We are available 24/7 and promptly respond to all messages.

Call our Fort Lauderdale office at 954-462-1005 or email us to schedule a meeting to discuss your case. Initial consults are always free of charge.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy