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National Institute of Justice Announces Official Results of Recidivism Forecasting Challenge
WASHINGTON — The Office of Justice Programs’ National Institute of Justice today announced the results of NIJ’s “Recidivism Forecasting Challenge,” a program designed to provide critical information to the corrections field, help ensure the successful reintegration of individuals previously incarcerated and on parole, and improve public safety. A list of the Challenge winners is here: https://nij.ojp.gov/funding/recidivism-forecasting-challenge-results
“I’m excited that we are tapping some of the best minds to help us develop innovative solutions to one of our most urgent public safety problems,” said NIJ Acting Director Jennifer Scherer. “The models proposed by our Challenge winners will bring us a fuller understanding of how data can be enlisted to anticipate an individual’s chances of reoffending and improve that person’s odds of successfully and productively reentering society.”
As part of the challenge, contestants received data from the state of Georgia about persons released from prison to parole supervision from 2013 through 2015. Contestants then submitted forecasts (percent likelihoods) of whether individuals in the data reoffended within one year, two years or three years after release. Prizes are being awarded to those whose models accurately identify risk for the individuals under community supervision. Award recipients were selected from three categories of contestants—students, small teams and large teams—and a separate category accounting for racial bias.
As a condition of receiving an award, recipients must submit papers describing their approaches and methods. Concurrently, NIJ staff will release a series of papers that examine and analyze the Challenge results. The information gained will help address high recidivism, the impact of evaluating the risk of recidivism and the need to support people in specific areas related to reincarceration. In addition, the Challenge may provide guidance on gender-specific considerations and strategies to account for racial bias during risk assessment.
Since 2010, NIJ has engaged the public to compete in challenges and prize competitions to identify innovative solutions to critical issues. Past NIJ challenges have focused on crime forecasting, gun safety technology and body armor.
The Challenge.gov initiative is federal government-wide. Members of the public compete to help the U.S. government solve problems big and small. For more information, visit www.Challenge.gov.
Information about the National Institute of Justice is available at nij.ojp.gov.
The Office of Justice Programs provides federal leadership, grants, training, technical assistance and other resources to improve the nation’s capacity to prevent and reduce crime, advance racial equity in the administration of justice, assist victims and enhance the rule of law. More information about OJP and its components can be found at www.ojp.gov.