Annenberg researchers use data science skills for social justice

Data scientists at the Annenberg School for Communication are working with the Amistad Law Project to create an open access dashboard of data that can aid efforts to help the incarcerated communiy.

From Annenberg School for Communication, Ashton Yount

The Quattrone Center: Less argument, more truth-seeking

The Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice is pioneering a systemic, data-driven approach to criminal justice reform. Its executive director, John Hollway, started with the idea that the law should function more like science.

The Pennsylvania Gazette

Media Contact

In the News

Did ‘defund the police’ lead to an increase in murder? Almost certainly not

David Abrams of the Law School said the timing of a spike in murders corresponded with changes in policing and cities lifting pandemic stay-at-home orders. “I have not seen any analysis that has found a causal link between movements to change police funding and homicide rates in major cities,” he said.



Special Report: As jails free thousands amid COVID-19, reform push takes root

David Abrams of the Law School weighed in on how crime rates have shifted during the pandemic. “It’s a real serious challenge to figure out because a lot of dramatic changes are happening at the same time,” he said.


The New York Times

The pandemic has hindered many of the best ideas for reducing violence

David Abrams of the Law School said it’s hard to explain changes in the rate of violent crimes amid the pandemic. “Any theory that’s really going to be convincing has to explain this unusual pattern,” he said.


The New York Times

GOP portrayal of urban mayhem doesn’t always match reality

David Abrams of the Law School warned that focusing on crime statistics over short periods of time, such as week-to-week rates, can be misleading. “If you look at a longer time horizon over 10 years, 20 years, 30 years. I mean, crime is down immensely from what it was in the ‘80s and ‘90s,” he said.


Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Trying to make sense of Atlanta crime in the coronavirus era

David Abrams of the Wharton School said crime reports and arrests fell significantly in the spring amid stay-at-home orders. “If you are a criminal, you have fewer targets,” he said.


NBC News

'A national disgrace': Holes in DNA databases leave crimes unsolved for decades

PIK Professor Dorothy Roberts commented on the use of DNA in surveillance and policing. “Because of the huge disparities and injustices in the way in which criminal laws are enforced, like rampant racial profiling by police, collecting DNA is a racist practice,” she said. “It embeds within it the racist practices for arresting people and charging them with crimes.”