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News Posted on December 15, 2016

Professor Joh Publishes in Slate on Case Management Software Problems

Professor Elizabeth Joh published an essay in Slate regarding Tyler Technologies’ Odyssey Case Manager, new case management software that has resulted in wrongful arrests and other problems in Alameda County. 

“These problems will likely worsen as software increasingly becomes embedded in everything we do,” Joh writes. “Odyssey clearly has its flaws, but at least court employees can identify a problem like a recalled arrest warrant, even if it’s too late to stop a wrongful arrest. With other types of software, however, errors may be difficult to detect. Algorithms designed to help judges decide bail, or to help the police identify suspicious behavior, may be hard for non-experts to understand, let alone critique. The private companies that design and sell these products may also be reluctant to share their proprietary information.”

Professor Joh's scholarship focuses on criminal procedure and policing, with a special emphasis on DNA evidence, undercover policing, and new surveillance technologies.