Big Data and Justice Reform

Opportunities and Threats

Past Event
Tuesday, Feb 5, 2019
5:00 PM — 7:00 PM
Stanford Law School, Room 290
RSVP is required as capacity is limited.

The U.S. criminal justice system is characterized by a profound lack of transparency. However, new analytic technologies and the use of large quantitative datasets—referred to as “big data”—are helping to break through these barriers and shine new light on injustices across the system. While big data can provide meaningful hope for future reform efforts, it also poses serious risks of hiding and further obfuscating the many flaws and inequities found within the justice system.

This forum presented by Stanford University and the Vera Institute of Justice will discuss how big data is being used to address a lack of transparency in the justice system, as well as the negative consequences of relying on big data and algorithms to guide justice reform.


Welcome remarks: Robert Weisberg, Edwin E. Huddleson, Jr. Professor of Law and Faculty Co-Director, Stanford Criminal Justice Center

Moderated by Jim Parsons, Vice President of Research, Vera Institute of Justice


  • Sharad Goel, Assistant Professor, Management Science and Engineering, Stanford University
  • Dr. Kristian Lum, PhD, Lead Statistician, Human Rights Data Analysis Group
  • Dr. Safiya Noble, Associate Professor, UCLA and author of Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism
  • Jim Parsons, Vice President of Research, Vera Institute of Justice
  • Justin Steele, Head of Americas, Google.Org