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Can ‘predictive policing’ prevent crime before it happens?

100x100-sciencemagHRDAG analyst William Isaac is quoted in this article about so-called crime prediction. “They’re not predicting the future. What they’re actually predicting is where the next recorded police observations are going to occur.”


Inside Syria’s prisons, where an estimated 17,723 have died since 2011

100x100-cnnExcerpt from the article: The estimate is based on reports from four organizations investigating deaths in Syria from March 15, 2011, to December, 31, 2015. From those cases, the Human Rights Data Analysis Group identified 12,270 cases with sufficient information to confirm the person was killed in detention. Using a statistical method to estimate how many victims they do not yet know about, the group came up with 17,723 cases.


Sous la dictature d’Hissène Habré, le ridicule tuait

Patrick Ball, un expert en statistiques engagé par les Chambres africaines extraordinaires, a conclu que la « mortalité dans les prisons de la DDS fut substantiellement plus élevée que celles des pires contextes du XXe siècle de prisonniers de guerre ».


Predictive policing violates more than it protects

William Isaac and Kristian Lum. Predictive policing violates more than it protects. USA Today. December 2, 2016. © USA Today.

William Isaac and Kristian Lum. Predictive policing violates more than it protects. USA Today. December 2, 2016. © USA Today.


Syria’s status, the migrant crisis and talking to ISIS

In this week’s “Top Picks,” IRIN interviews HRDAG executive director Patrick Ball about giant data sets and whether we can trust them. “No matter how big it is, data on violence is always partial,” he says.


In Syria, Uncovering the Truth Behind a Number

Huffington Post Politics writer Matt Easton interviews Patrick Ball, executive director of HRDAG, about the latest enumeration of killings in Syria. As selection bias is increasing, it becomes harder to see it: we have the “appearance of perfect knowledge, when in fact the shape of that knowledge has not changed that much,” says Patrick. “Technology is not a substitute for science.”


Direct procès Habré: le taux de mortalité dans les centres de détention, au menu des débats

Statisticien, Patrick Ball est à la barre ce vendredi matin. L’expert est entendu sur le taux de mortalité dans les centres de détention au Tchad sous Habré. Désigné par la chambre d’accusation, il dira avoir axé ses travaux sur des témoignages, des données venant des victimes et des documents de la DDS (Direction de la Documentation et de la Sécurité).


Procès Hissène Habré : Le statisticien fait état d’un taux de mortalité de 2,37% par jour

Les auditions d’experts se poursuivent au palais de justice de Dakar sur le procès de l’ex-président tchadien Hissène Habré. Hier, c’était au tour de Patrick Ball, seul inscrit au rôle, commis par la chambre d’accusation de N’Djamena pour dresser les statistiques sur le taux de mortalité dans les centres de détention.


“Surmortalité carcérale” sous Habré

Le statisticien américain Patrick Ball, expert au procès de Hissène Habré, a déclaré vendredi que le taux de mortalité d’opposants tchadiens présumés dans les prisons du régime Habré était encore pire que celui des prisonniers de guerre américains dans les camps japonais.


“El reto de la estadística es encontrar lo escondido”: experto en manejo de datos sobre el conflicto

In this interview with Colombian newspaper El Espectador, Patrick Ball is quoted as saying “la gente que no conoce de álgebra nunca debería hacer estadísticas” (people who don’t know algebra should never do statistics).


Inside the Difficult, Dangerous Work of Tallying the ISIS Death Toll

HRDAG executive director Megan Price is interviewed by Mother Jones. An excerpt: “Violence can be hidden,” says Price. “ISIS has its own agenda. Sometimes that agenda is served by making public things they’ve done, and I have to assume, sometimes it’s served by hiding things they’ve done.”


Amnesty International Reports Organized Murder Of Detainees In Syrian Prison

100x100nprReports of torture and disappearances in Syria are not new. But the Amnesty International report says the magnitude and severity of abuse has “increased drastically” since 2011. Citing the Human Rights Data Analysis Group, the report says “at least 17,723 people were killed in government custody between March 2011 and December 2015, an average of 300 deaths each month.”


SermonNew death toll estimated in Syrian civil war

Kevin Uhrmacher of the Washington Post prepared a graph that illustrates reported deaths over time, by number of organizations reporting the deaths.


UN Raises Estimate of Dead in Syrian Conflict to 191,000

Nick Cumming-Bruce of the New York Times writes about the UN Office of the High Commissioner of Human Right’s release of HRDAG’s third report on reported killings in the Syrian conflict.
From the article:
In its third report on Syria commissioned by the United Nations, the Human Rights Data Analysis Group identified 191,369 deaths from the start of the conflict in March 2011 to April 2014, more than double the 92,901 deaths cited in their last report, which covered the first two years of the conflict.
“Tragically, it is probably an underestimate of the real total number of people killed during the first three years of this murderous conflict,” Ms. Pillay said in a statement that accompanied the report, which observed that many killings in Syria were undocumented.


New UN report counts 191,369 Syrian-war deaths — but the truth is probably much, much worse

Amanda Taub of Vox has interviewed HRDAG executive director about the UN Office of the High Commissioner of Human Right’s release of HRDAG’s third report on reported killings in the Syrian conflict.
From the article:
Patrick Ball, Executive Director of the Human Rights Data Analysis Group and one of the report’s authors, explained to me that this new report is not a statistical estimate of the number of people killed in the conflict so far. Rather, it’s an actual list of specific victims who have been identified by name, date, and location of death. (The report only tracked violent killings, not “excess mortality” deaths from from disease or hunger that the conflict is causing indirectly.)


Syrian civil war death toll exceeds 190,000, U.N. reports

Ayan Sheikh of PBS News Hour reports on the UN Office of the High Commissioner of Human Right’s release of HRDAG’s third report on reported killings in the Syrian conflict.
From the article:
The latest death toll figure covers the period from March 2011 to April of this year, came from the Human Rights Data Analysis Group and is the third study of its kind on Syria. The analysis group identified 191,269 deaths. Data was collected from five different sources to exclude inaccuracies and repetitions.


Why Collecting Data In Conflict Zones Is Invaluable—And Nearly Impossible


Big Data Predictive Analytics Comes to Academic and Nonprofit Institutions to Fuel Innovation

“Revolution Analytics will allow HRDAG to handle bigger data sets and leverage the power of R to accomplish this goal and uncover the truth.” Director of Research Megan Price is quoted


Data Mining on the Side of the Angels

“Data, by itself, isn’t truth.” How HRDAG uses data analysis and statistical methods to shed light on mass human rights abuses. Executive director Patrick Ball is quoted from his speech at the Chaos Communication Congress in Hamburg, Germany.


The Death Toll in Syria


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