Chapter

The Virtues of Randomization

in Against Prediction

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2006 | ISBN: 9780226316130
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226315997 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226315997.003.0010
The Virtues of Randomization

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The critiques set forth in this book reflect problems with the actuarial approach more generally—not just with specific types of stereotyping or profiles. This chapter sketches the contours and benefits of a more randomized universe of crime and punishment. Randomization is the only way to achieve a carceral population that reflects the offending population. Randomization in this context is a form of random sampling: random sampling on the highway, for instance, is the only way that the police would obtain an accurate reflection of the offending population. And random sampling is the central virtue behind randomization. What randomization achieves, in essence, is to neutralize the perverse effects of prediction, both in terms of the possible effects on overall crime and of the other social costs.

Keywords: crime; punishment; randomization; actuarial methods; racial profiling; random sampling

Chapter.  1219 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law

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