CBI: Todd Henderson, "Predicting Crime Without the Pre-Cogs"

Tuesday, May 13, 2008 (All day)

The Chicago's Best Ideas series presents:

Predicting Crime without the Pre-CogsM. Todd Henderson, Assistant Professor of Law

In the absence of pre-cognitive superbeings and Tom Cruise, how are police and policy makers supposed to allocate scarce crime-fighting resources? There is a vibrant academic literature on predicting crime, with models of various types offered as the best way of estimating future crime rates. Many of these involve mapping software, which plots the past in the hopes of extrapolating to the future. Police use some of these techniques, but most are very crude, using things like weather or the location of liquor stores as "hot spots" to estimate crime rates. Police also use experience and gut instinct. All of the various methods, whether formal models or inside the head of the commissioner of police, are deployed in haphazard and isolated ways. 

In this lecture, Professor Henderson presents an alternative. Come find out how you too can be part of predicting the future.

M. Todd Henderson