Postdoctoral Scholar - Criminal Justice - Berkeley Institute for Data Science
Criminal justice, as well as human welfare and social justice, has become a defining challenge in the United States. One area of focus is police misconduct. In 2020, a federal legislative proposal emerged to form national databases containing police misconduct information and a decertification registry that tracks the movement of officers with a pattern of misconduct. But the success of these national databases, and the overall effort to hold law enforcement accountable, ultimately turns on pulling together many disparate data repositories to make police misconduct information accessible and transparent.
Working with multiple collaborators, the Berkeley Institute for Data Science (BIDS) proposed a platform to increase accountability in the criminal justice systems. The envisioned platform will leverage machine learning and other approaches from data science to dramatically improve access to and analysis of police misconduct records and related data. It will serve as a fundamental national resource for criminal justice reform and the acceleration of anti-racist and social justice initiatives. The system builds upon seminal work on a database and app for public defenders at the Legal Aid Society in New York and now at the National Association for Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL).
BIDS is now seeking a creative and driven post-doctoral researcher for an Independent Postdoctoral scholarship to conduct independent, self-directed research using the latest data science methods and tools to answer questions related to equity in criminal justice and law enforcement accountability. The scholar will have the opportunity to utilize the data and infrastructure developed via the new platform, and to collaborate with leading journalists, data scientists, researchers, and defense lawyers who form the Community Law Enforcement Accountability Network (CLEAN). Successful candidates will bring a strong background in social sciences, law, and/or criminal justice and in performing data intensive research. Program management experience is also helpful.
In defining and carrying out the independent, self-directed research project, the scholar will work under the guidance of an advisory team made up of BIDS Faculty Affiliates and research staff: David Harding, Sarah Chasins, Rebecca Wexler, and Stefan van der Walt. The team will mentor the scholar in defining and executing the research project and will provide support, such as accessing relevant datasets and colleagues.
Evaluation of success in this position will be judged on the creation/contribution of a mixture of research products in scope of the independent, self-directed research project. The research products expected include but are not limited to communicating the research project results in academic publications; contributing to open source scientific software, curated datasets / databases, and blogs; and developing whitepapers about data science and criminal justice. Ideally the work will have the potential to affect public policy.
The position will also benefit from collaboration with Accenture Applied Intelligence. Accenture supports BIDS' research and educational objectives in data science with current focus on environment and energy, ethical AI, and social justice. The researcher will be able to leverage this relationship to fully harness the data landscape and expertise available.
In addition, as part of the BIDS research community, the scholar will have the opportunity to learn from individuals engaged in research software development, computational reproducibility, and data intensive research from a diversity of domains.
Define and perform independent research to increase the understanding of accountability in the criminal justice system.
Help to establish transparent and open best practices useful for performing data intensive research in criminal justice, as well as general use.
Develop a workshop or discussion series for BIDS faculty, researchers, and collaborators and the larger UC Berkeley social science and criminal justice community.
Give talks and presentations to a variety of audiences including the University of California community, Accenture Applied Intelligence leaders and researchers, members of the CLEAN network, and globally at domain specific conferences.
Produce research products expected include but are not limited to communicating the research project results in academic publications; contributing to open source scientific software, curated datasets / databases, and blogs; and developing whitepapers about data science and criminal justice.
Update advisors, as well as collaborators at Accenture Applied Intelligence and other Accenture stakeholders, regularly on research progress through meetings.
This position is covered by a collective bargaining agreement for Postdoctoral Scholars.
To apply, visit https://aprecruit.berkeley.edu/JPF03173