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Against PredictionProfiling, Policing, and Punishing in an Actuarial Age$
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Bernard E. Harcourt

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780226316130

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226315997.001.0001

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The Ratchet Effect: An Overlooked Social Cost

The Ratchet Effect: An Overlooked Social Cost

(p.145) Chapter Five The Ratchet Effect: An Overlooked Social Cost
Against Prediction
University of Chicago Press

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

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