Artificial Intelligence (AI) has made significant advancements in different
sectors. In today's constantly evolving world, the intersection between
technology and various industries has become increasingly prominent and one such
area where it is gaining popularity is the criminal justice system. With its
great ability to analyze vast amounts of data and identify patterns, AI has the
potential to revolutionize the way crimes are investigated, defendants are
evaluated, and sentences are determined.
With the advancements in technology, AI
has become a powerful tool that is reshaping the way we approach law
enforcement, crime prevention, and even courtroom proceedings. In this article,
we will delve into the fascinating realm of how AI is transforming the criminal
justice system and explore its impact from investigation to sentencing. By
juxtaposing the current criminal justice system with the capabilities of AI, we
aim to shed light on the benefits and challenges that arise from the integration
of these two changing fields.
AI refers to the simulation of human intelligence in machines that are
programmed to think and learn like humans. It encompasses technologies such as
machine learning, natural language processing, and computer vision. These
technologies allow computers to analyze and interpret information, making them
valuable tools in crime prevention, investigation, and decision-making processes
and that is why Artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly being used in the
criminal justice system, with applications in law enforcement, courts, and
Before moving forward, I want to mention three examples of the use of AI in
criminal justice systems.
COMPAS (Correctional Offender Management Profiling for Alternative Sanctions),
which (mainly) predicts whether or not an individual will reoffend.
PredPol, which predicts where crimes may occur (place of crime) and on that
basis calculates how best to allocate police resources; and
HART (Harm Assessment Risk Tool), which also predicts the risk of reoffending
when deciding whether or not to prosecute.
All three are examples of 'black boxes' � proprietary systems whose inner
workings are not publicly accessible.
In law enforcement, AI is being used for:
In the courts, AI is being used for:
- Prediction: This involves using AI to analyze data to identify individuals or areas that are at risk of crime. This information can then be used to deploy law enforcement resources more effectively. This proactive approach can lead to crime reduction and improved public safety.
- Automatic license plate readers: These devices can scan license plates and automatically identify vehicles that are associated with crime. This can help law enforcement track down suspects and prevent crimes.
- Facial recognition: This technology can be used to identify suspects from surveillance footage or mugshots. This can help law enforcement solve crimes more quickly. While facial recognition has its ethical implications, when used responsibly, it can be a powerful tool in combating crime.
- Crime scene analysis: AI can be used to analyze crime scene data, such as fingerprints and DNA, to help investigators identify suspects and solve crimes.
In corrections, AI is being used for:
- Decision-making: AI can be used to help judges make decisions about bail, sentencing, and parole. This can help to ensure that decisions are fair and accurate.
- Risk assessment: AI can be used to assess the risk of recidivism for offenders. This information can then be used to make decisions about sentencing and parole.
- Case management: AI can be used to automate tasks such as scheduling hearings and managing case files. This can free up court staff to focus on other tasks.
- Legal research: AI can be used to analyze legal documents, statutes, and case precedents to assist lawyers in finding relevant information quickly. These AI-powered tools can save hours of manual research and enable legal professionals to focus on higher-value tasks, ultimately improving the efficiency of the legal system.
AI can be used to develop personalized rehabilitation
plans for offenders. This can help offenders to address the underlying issues
that led to their criminal behavior.
AI can be used to assess the risk of violence or escape
for offenders. This information can then be used to make decisions about
security and programming.
AI can be used to match offenders with the appropriate
treatment programs and staff. This can help to ensure that offenders receive the
care they need.
The use of AI in the criminal justice system is a rapidly evolving field. There
are many potential benefits to using AI, but there are also some risks that need
to be considered. It is important to carefully evaluate the risks and benefits
of AI before deploying it in the criminal justice system.
Here are some of the benefits of using AI in the criminal justice system
Here are some of the risks of using AI in the criminal justice system:
- Increased efficiency: AI can automate tasks that are currently
performed by humans, freeing up resources to focus on other priorities.
- Improved accuracy: AI can analyze data more quickly and
accurately than humans, which can lead to better decision-making.
- Increased fairness: AI can be used to remove human bias from
decision-making, which can lead to more just outcomes.
AI systems can be biased, which can lead to unfair
treatment of certain groups of people. If not carefully monitored and designed,
then it can perpetuate discrimination in criminal justice outcomes. It is
crucial to ensure that AI systems are trained on unbiased data and regularly
audited for fairness to prevent the amplification of existing inequalities.
AI systems can collect and store large amounts of personal data,
which raises privacy concerns. For example, Facial recognition technology raises
questions about individual privacy and potential abuse of power. It is essential
to establish clear regulations and guidelines regarding the collection, storage,
and use of personal data to protect individuals' privacy rights while harnessing
the benefits of AI technology.
It can be difficult to hold AI systems accountable for
their decisions. It is important to have clear guidelines on how AI-generated
outcomes are arrived at and ensure that the decision-making processes remain
subject to human oversight
It is important to carefully consider the risks and benefits of AI before
deploying it in the criminal justice system. AI has the potential to improve the
efficiency, accuracy, and fairness of the criminal justice system, but it is
important to ensure that it is used in a responsible and ethical manner.
Developments in the field of AI and CJS in India
There has been an attentive growth in the usage of AI in India in various
fields. One prominent example of this is, NITI Aayog which published an article
titled 'National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence #AI4ALL' in order to bring
awareness among people to make use of AI in a fair mean. It shows how artificial
intelligence (AI) can be used successfully in five key sectors in India, which
includes education, healthcare, agriculture, smart cities and infrastructure,
smart mobility, and transportation.
The Indian judiciary has already put in place communication technology and basic
information infrastructure through the eCourts Project and is now trying to get
advantage of AI's potential. The Supreme Court's AI committee has launched and
tested two softwares.
a neural translation tool Supreme Court Vidhik Anuvaad Software (SUVAAS) which
helps to translate judicial documents to and from English into 9 different
languages has been launched.
a court administration tool known as Supreme Court Portal for Assistance in
Court Efficiency (SUPACE) which is used for legal studies, data mining, case
tracking, and other similar kinds of functions. This is already being planned
and also implemented in some regions with the goal of developing institutional
efficiency. Hence, it is evident that the use of AI into the legal sector has
begun and it is growing at a rapid pace.
Here are some specific examples of how AI is being used in the criminal
In 2016, the Chicago Police Department began using an AI-powered predictive
policing tool called PredPol. The tool analyzes crime data to identify areas
where crimes are likely to occur. The police department has said that PredPol
has helped them to reduce crime in some areas of Chicago.
In 2017, the UK government announced that it would be using AI to help to
identify and investigate child sexual abuse images. The AI technology will be
used to analyze large datasets of images to identify those that are likely to be
child sexual abuse images.
In 2018, the US Department of Justice announced that it would be using AI to
help to assess the risk of recidivism in federal offenders. The AI technology
will be used to analyze data on offenders' criminal histories, demographics, and
other factors to predict their risk of reoffending.
In the case of Justice K.S. Puttaswamy (Retd.) and Another v. Union of India
(2017), the Supreme Court of India held that the right to privacy
is a fundamental right under the Indian Constitution. This decision could
potentially be used to challenge the use of AI in the criminal justice system if
it is found to violate the right to privacy.
In the United States, there have been a few cases that have dealt with the use
of AI in the criminal justice system. For example, in the case of United States
v. Loomis (2018), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the use of a risk
assessment algorithm in a pretrial detention decision violated the defendant's
right to due process. The court found that the algorithm was not sufficiently
transparent and that it was not clear how the algorithm was making its
AI technology has the potential to revolutionize the criminal justice system,
enhancing crime prevention, investigation, and decision-making processes. From
crime prediction and prevention to forensic analysis, facial recognition, and
sentencing recommendations, AI can significantly improve the efficiency and
fairness of the legal landscape.
However, the responsible implementation of AI in the criminal justice system
requires addressing challenges such as bias, privacy concerns, and maintaining
accountability. By striking a balance between the benefits and potential risks,
we can leverage AI's power to create a more just and efficient criminal justice