On Friday April 7, the Tech Institute's regular Tech Speaker Series featured two experts on the use of technology in the criminal justice system: Dr. Clarence Wardell III, former co-lead of the Obama Administration's Police Data Initiative, and Jason Tashea of Justice Codes. The event was moderated by Georgetown's Laura Moy.
The wide-ranging conversation covered technologies from police body-worn cameras, to gunshot detecting technologies, to tools that assist individuals in expunging their records, to the use of algorithms to influence decisions about parole and sentencing. The speakers addressed the potential benefits of such technologies while also noting challenges and risks, such as over-reliance on cameras or algorithms to capture "objective" truth, and the problem of government procurement policies that give third-party companies an outsized role in law enforcement capabilities.
Both speakers called for further education and public awareness about the opportunities and challenges presented by new technologies, especially within the defense bar and criminal justice communities.
The use of technology in the criminal justice system is the subject of a new class in Georgetown Law's tech policy curriculum for fall 2017: Criminal Justice Technology, Policy, and Law. The class will take the form of a project-base practicum, teaching students how to design, build and understand technologies that affect criminal justice processes and policy. The class will be taught by Mr. Tashea and Keith Porcaro, CTO and General Counsel of SimLab.