DiscoverStats + StoriesBig Data Policing | Stats + Stories Episode 143
Big Data Policing | Stats + Stories Episode 143

Big Data Policing | Stats + Stories Episode 143

Update: 2020-06-18


Across the country, protesters are taking to the streets to fight against police brutality and systemic racism. The use of force by police departments as well as the seeming militarization of many has been a concern of activists for some time. Another concern has been the use of big data in the use of surveillance technologies by departments to conduct predictive policing. Advocates for the approach say it helps police better marshal resources as the data is used to identify where hotspots of criminal activity might be. Opponents suggest the approach can just reproduce long-standing biases in the criminal justice system compounding systemic inequality. The intersection of big data and policing is the focus of this episode of Stats and Stories, with guest Sarah Brayne.

Sarah Brayne is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at The University of Texas at Austin. In her research, Brayne uses qualitative and quantitative methods to examine the social consequences of data-intensive surveillance practices. Her forthcoming book, Predict and Surveil: Data, Discretion, and the Future of Policing, draws on years of ethnographic research of the Los Angeles Police Department to understand how law enforcement uses predictive analytics and new surveillance technologies. Prior to joining the faulty at UT-Austin, Brayne was a Postdoctoral Researcher at Microsoft Research. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology and Social Policy from Princeton University. Brayne has volunteer-taught college-credit sociology classes in prisons since 2012. In 2017, she founded the Texas Prison Education Initiative.


How did you get interested in this topic (1:31 ), Tell use about your study, (2:44 ,)How were you received in the LAPD (4:22 ), How did you get trained in this? (6:43 ), How did you get the data you’ve collected (8:01 ), Misuse of Data (10:24 ) Define Predictive Policing (12:05 ), Most surprising part of your research (16:40 , What insights did you get from ride-a-longs (18:20 ), Differences between Canada (20:15 ), What’s next for Sarah Brayne (22:20 ), Texas Prison Education Initiative 26:45
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Big Data Policing | Stats + Stories Episode 143

Big Data Policing | Stats + Stories Episode 143

The Stats + Stories Team