CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Friday, March 2, 2018

Wheeler et al. on Predicting Future Gun Violence

Andrew WheelerRobert Worden and Jasmine Silver (University of Texas at Dallas - School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences, John F. Finn Institute for Public Safety and State University of New York (SUNY) - School of Criminal Justice) have posted The Accuracy of the Violent Offender Identification Directive (VOID) Tool to Predict Future Gun Violence on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
We evaluate the Violent Offender Identification Directive (VOID) tool, a risk assessment instrument implemented within a police department to prospectively identify offenders likely to be involved with future gun violence. The tool uses a variety of static measures of prior criminal history that are readily available in police records management systems. The VOID tool is assessed for predictive accuracy by taking a historical sample and calculating scores for over 200,000 individuals known to the police at the end of 2012, and predicting 103 individuals involved with gun violence (either as a shooter or a victim) during 2013. Despite weights for the instrument being determined in an ad-hoc manner by crime analysts, the VOID tool does very well in predicting involvement with gun violence compared to an optimized logistic regression and generalized boosted models. We discuss theoretical reasons why such ad-hoc instruments are likely to perform well in identifying chronic offenders for all police departments.

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