Advisory Concerning the Chicago Police Department’s Predictive Risk Models

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) conducted a review of the Chicago Police Department’s (CPD or the “Department”) risk models known as the Strategic Subject List (SSL) and Crime and Victimization Risk Model (CVRM). CPD received $3.8 million in federal grants to develop these models, which were designed to predict the likelihood an individual would become a “party to violence” (PTV), i.e. the victim or offender in a shooting. The results of SSL were known as “risk scores” while CVRM produced “risk tiers.” In August 2019, CPD informed OIG that it intended to decommission its PTV risk model program and did so on November 1, 2019 (although the grant period ended on September 30, 2019). The purpose of this advisory is to assess lessons learned and provide recommendations for future implementation of PTV risk models.

Although CPD has decommissioned its recent PTV risk models, the Department stated that it may develop programs in the future which use data to help predict PTV individuals. Furthermore, CPD intended to use its PTV risk models as examples for other jurisdictions as part of the national discourse on predictive policing. OIG provides the following recommendations to CPD and any other jurisdiction considering the use of data to predict PTV individuals:

  • Clean and vet data and develop protocols to regularly update PTV-related information
  • Conduct training in a timely manner with up-to-date material
  • Create policy dictating the intended purpose and allowed uses of PTV information and monitor the use of information
  • Consider all relevant data to predict and intervene those at risk of becoming PTV
  • Continuously evaluate the accuracy and efficacy of predictive policing programs
  • Develop plans and secure resources to ensure sustainability of such programs