Researchers Using Artificial Intelligence To Keep Parolees From Recommitting Crimes

For criminals who are transitioning from prison back to regular society, starting a new life can...

Photo credit: Purdue University

For criminals who are transitioning from prison back to regular society, starting a new life can be difficult. Researchers from Purdue University Polytechnic Institute have decided to help these people by using artificial intelligence. Their method could help parolees avoid committing crimes after rejoining regular society.

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Results of a U.S. Department of Justice study indicated more than 80 percent of people in state prisons were arrested at least once in the nine years following their release. Almost half of those arrests came in the first year following release.

Marcus Rogers and Umit Karabiyik of Purdue Polytechnic's Department of Computer and Information Technology, are leading an ongoing project focused on using AI-enabled tools and technology to reduce the recidivism rates for convicted criminals who have been released. They are studying the forensic psychology aspect, by identifying risky behaviors, stressful situations, and other behavioral and physiological factors connected to a risk of individuals returning to criminal behavior, reports Purdue University.

“The goal of the study is to identify opportunities for early intervention to better assist those individuals to integrate back into general society successfully,” said Marcus Rogers, professor of computer and information technology.

"The major reason recidivism is so high is the parolees don't feel like they belong in the community," Karabiyik said. "They have a hard time, and they immediately go back to their old criminal habits. Their old criminal communities are very welcoming."

Parolees will be given bracelets that collect health information, including stress and heart rate. Smartphones carried by each individual will collect information, ranging from where they are at any given time to the photos they may take. The artificial intelligence will be run in intervals with the data examined rather than in real-time.

Rogers said the information will be used to identify risky behaviors, stressful situations, and other behavioral and physiological factors correlated with those individuals at risk of returning to their criminal behavior.

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In addition to determining the factors that draw parolees back, the research also will study the effect of offering assistance to the individuals as they integrate back into society.

For example, Karabiyik said the AI tools could recommend communities or jobs that would work well for the parolees, helping them feel comfortable and eliminating their high-risk status.

Sam Draper
September 8, 2020

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