Quantitative Approaches to Criminal and Social Justice: Mitigating Inequity for Racially Minoritized Individuals in Policing, Sentencing and Incarceration

Hybrid Event
Monday, Nov 7, 2022 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Chad Topaz headshot

Speaker: Chad Topaz, professor of complex systems at Williams College and cofounder of the Institute for the Quantitative Study of Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity

Tens of millions of citizens in the United States have been directly impacted by the criminal justice system and nearly half the population is impacted through close familial or social ties to them. Accompanying the harm caused by the system is an additional nefarious challenge: opacity in the specific loci of harm renders it difficult to mitigate. Following the words of civil rights pioneer Ida B. Wells, who said that "the way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them," Topaz will present work that uses data science to identify loci of injustice. 

Case studies will be drawn from across scales and stages of the criminal justice system: policing in the small municipality of Williamstown, Massachusetts; criminal sentencing in all 94 federal district courts; and incarceration on Rikers Island in New York during the COVID pandemic. Throughout, Topaz will highlight the importance of data transparency in service of justice.

Topaz is professor of complex systems at Williams College and cofounder of the Institute for the Quantitative Study of Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity. He is an avid scholar and educator whose research applies quantitative tools to expose and remedy social injustice.

This talk will be offered in person and over Zoom. Light refreshments will be served.

Reservations are requested to bit.ly/marschaktopaz