Research / Themes / Trends in governance / Prediction in criminal justice

Prediction, in one way or another, is used at all levels of criminal justice. Kate Auerhahn's research looks at some of the problems inherent in attempts to predict criminal or violent behavior at the individual level. These include low levels of accuracy (a problem inherent in trying to predict any behavior that exhibits a low base rate) and a high proportion of false-positive predictions. She suggests alternative ways that criminal justice practitioners might make better use of prediction-oriented assessment instruments (such as re-orienting the predictive aim away from incapacitation or control and toward use in release or diversion decisions).

Related faculty

Kathleen Auerhahn

Selected publications

Auerhahn, K. (2006). Conceptual and methodological issues in the prediction of dangerous behavior, Criminology and Public Policy, Volume 5, Number 4: 801-808.

Auerhahn, K. (2003). Selective Incapacitation and Public Policy: Evaluating California’s Imprisonment Crisis. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press. (New Directions in Crime and Justice Series).

Auerhahn, K. (1999). Selective incapacitation and the problem of prediction, Criminology, Volume 37, Number 4: 703-733.