So I decided to focus on using data and analytics to help make the most critical decision in public safety,
and that decision is the determination of whether, when someone has been arrested,
whether they pose a risk to public safety and should be detained,
or whether they don't pose a risk to public safety and should be released.
Everything that happens in criminal cases comes out of this one decision.
It impacts everything. It impacts sentencing. It impacts whether someone gets drug treatment. It impacts crime and violence.
And when I talk to judges around the United States, which I do all the time now,
they all say the same thing, which is that we put dangerous people in jail, and we let non-dangerous, nonviolent people out.
They mean it and they believe it. But when you start to look at the data,
which, by the way, the judges don't have, when we start to look at the data,
what we find time and time again, is that this isn't the case.
We find low-risk offenders, which makes up 50 percent of our entire criminal justice population, we find that they're in jail.
Take Leslie Chew, who was a Texas man who stole four blankets on a cold winter night.
He was arrested, and he was kept in jail on 3,500 dollars bail, an amount that he could not afford to pay.
And he stayed in jail for eight months until his case came up for trial, at a cost to taxpayers of more than 9,000 dollars.
And at the other end of the spectrum, we're doing an equally terrible job.
The people who we find are the highest-risk offenders,
the people who we think have the highest likelihood of committing a new crime if they're released,
we see nationally that 50 percent of those people are being released.