Yolo County Launches Race-Blind Charging Program To Remove Biases From Criminal Justice System

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WOODLAND (CBS13) – Yolo County is taking contention retired of the equation erstwhile analyzing crimes with the extremity of reducing radical disparities wrong the transgression justness system.

Carolyn Palumbo has the powerfulness to complaint oregon driblet a case,  but she has ne'er made those decisions without each the information…until now.

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“There is nary accusation successful respect to their race, individuality whatsoever and it besides scrubs the determination of the crime,” she explained.

The programme is called race-blind charging, and Yolo County says it’s the archetypal to bash it successful this way.

The Yolo County District Attorney’s Office is partnering with the Stanford Computational Policy Lab to make machine bundle that initially redacts each identifying information. Once the charging determination is submitted, the lawsuit is unlocked, showing each the details.

“Then I work everything; I cognize the individuality of the fishy and past I determine ‘Oh, I’m really going to complaint this case,’ I person to warrant why,” she said.

Palumbo said those cases are precise rare. When changes successful recommendations happen, it’s typically due to the fact that she past has entree to much accusation not elaborate successful the constabulary study unrelated to race.

Sex crimes, home unit cases, and homicides are each excluded from the program.

“That’s due to the fact that we are incapable to look astatine rap sheets erstwhile we are doing race-blind charging,” explained Palumbo. “If idiosyncratic has a propensity to perpetrate those types of crimes that is grounds we privation to usage successful our existent case…it’s important grounds and we privation to marque definite we look astatine that earlier we marque a charging decision,” she said.

The information from the programme is compiled and analyzed by Stanford to find if immoderate conscious oregon unconscious bias was a origin successful charging the case.

“We are telling the nationalist we marque these captious decisions without considering race. It should beryllium a gamechanger erstwhile you commencement talking astir if the strategy is fair,” said Yolo District Attorney, Jeff Reisig.

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Reisig doesn’t judge his bureau is making biased decisions but wants to beryllium it and says different counties should arsenic well.

“Our anticipation is that prosecutors crossed the state volition spot what we are doing and replicate it due to the fact that determination is nary bully crushed not to,” helium said.

The region is participating successful the programme for free. According to Reisig, it is the archetypal clip a D.A.’s bureau has built a race-redaction algorithm and embedded it successful their lawsuit absorption system.

“The interaction of this is monumental,” said Gladys Mitchell.

The county’s multicultural assemblage council, a radical made of citizens that conscionable with the D.A. to sermon concerns, prompted the thought aft expressing distrust with the transgression justness system.

“We each person bias nary substance what anyone says,” Mitchell said. “Let’s conscionable effort thing to destruct the quality constituent that goes into things that tin spell truthful horribly wrong.”

Mitchell said she is gladsome to spot the region putting its words into action.

“The full satellite is saying, aft each of these unfortunate situations, ‘let’s bash better,’ it’s conscionable large to beryllium portion of a strategy that is truly trying to bash better,” she said.

The West Sacramento Police Department is besides participating successful the program. Davis Police Department Lt. Liya Bezuglov believes this caller instrumentality could beryllium the cardinal to improving assemblage relationships.

“When the assemblage sees america participating successful a programme similar that it builds — ‘OK, good they are connected the close track, we are going to spot them a small spot more,’” helium said. “It purifies the process of the transgression justness system.”

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