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Race, Technology, and Justice


Brian Johnson puts it best when he writes that "criminal justice data, like all data, are not merely collected; they are produced." (Digitize and Punish, 9) Another way to to think about this issue comes from Nick Barrowman, "the very production of data is thus always relevant to its interpretation," and he further elaborates by stating that "simply put, the context of data—why it was collected, how it was col- lected, and how it was transformed—is always relevant. There is, then, no such thing as context-free data, and thus data cannot manifest the kind of perfect objectivity that is sometimes imagined." (Why Data is Never Raw, 133-134). 

This page points towards some resources that explore the problems we encounter when we assume that data is neutral, unbiased, and free from subjectivity. Big Data is an environment that is changing rapidly and one that provides a highly problematic foundation to many of the issues found in surveillance and e-carceration.


Policy and Advocacy