PEOPLE’S ALGORITHMIC POWER PROJECT


The Community Justice Exchange is partnering with Media Mobilizing Project to launch the People's Algorithmic Power Project.

In the criminal legal system, algorithms are often sold as fairer than judges in deciding who stays in jail and who goes home, even though many analyses show that algorithms can embed racial bias into their forecasts, and aren’t always used to reduce mass incarceration. 

Current bail and pretrial reform efforts often hinge on the implementation of these algorithms with “risk assessment” tools. Many have raised alarms about the unfairness of algorithms trained on data from a racist society and recent studies show mixed reviews of their impact on actual decarceration.

We know that the systems that embed these tools are opaque, under-resourced, and difficult to engage.  Without community organizing and engagement, local jurisdictions might replace one form of bias for another - perpetuating disparities that have brutalized communities of color for generations.  The People's Algorithmic Power Project is confronting this challenge by building resources and supporting organizing that creates people power over the algorithms that make high-stakes decisions about our lives, and the systems that implement them. 

We support communities fighting to radically transform their pretrial systems.The People’s Algorithmic Power Project works with grassroots organizations across the country who are working to either abolish the use of pretrial risk assessment tools in the criminal legal system or create community-driven oversight and accountability in their implementation, use, and evaluation.