The Ratchet Effect: An Overlooked Social Cost

in Against Prediction

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2006 | ISBN: 9780226316130
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226315997 | DOI:
The Ratchet Effect: An Overlooked Social Cost

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This chapter explains how the use of actuarial methods will have a distortive effect on the targeted population that will operate as a ratchet over time. The distortion occurs when profiling produces a supervised population that is disproportionate to the distribution of offending by racial group. The ratchet effect is discussed in the policing context, in the sentencing context, and in terms of social costs.

Keywords: actuarial methods; criminal profiling; targeted population; distortion; criminal supervision; racial group; policing; social costs; sentencing

Chapter.  8631 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law

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