Project Name: Site for Collaborative Forecasting of Secure Housing Needs
Grantee: Evan Misshula and Ligon M. Liu
Discipline: Criminal Justice and Computer Science
Funding Cycle: 2013-2014
Project Status: In progress
About The Project
Although Federal prisoners have more than quintupled since 1990, States and localities still remain the overwhelming funders of secure housing (prisons). In aggregate in 2006, the states spent more than $42 billion and localities spent an additional $22 billion (Stephan, 2004). Planning for these large public expenditures requires collaboration across many stake holding public institutions. Recent experience has shown that when data is shared, more reliable estimates can be made over time. It may also be possible to reduce the amount of secure housing with minimal impact on public safety. This project builds on the applicant’s experience forecasting secure housing needs for the Georgia Governor’s working group on prison construction.
The primary goal of the project is to provide stakeholders with a forum in which they can evaluate cost savings of alternate incarceration policies. The website will accomplish this by allowing users to establish their own account and chose with whom and when to share their data and forecasts. Since we are approaching planning not as a one time exercise but a continuous stream
of adjustments, participants will be able to see how far oﬀ their forecasts are and how they have improved over time. With data over time available for all participants, I hope this will give stakeholders incentive to look forward rather than backward.
Evan Misshula is a PhD student in Criminal Justice at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. His work focuses on establishing causality with empirical data. He has published work on the impact of incarceration on HIV transmission, the structure of methamphetamine markets in New York City, and social position and the risk for suicide. His work has been supported by grants from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the CUNY Advanced Research Collaborative, U.S. Cyberchallenge, and the Steve and Elly Hammerman Foundation. During the 2012-2013 academic year, he served as a Data
Visualization Fellow for the @JustPublics365 initiative and a research fellow at the Pattern Recognition Lab at the Graduate Center. This summer Evan is serving as a Fellow at the University of Chicago’s Data Science for Social Good program funded by a grant from the Eric & Wendy Schmidt Foundation. Throughout his graduate career Evan has served as a mentor and math tutor for the College Initiative, a program in NYC which helps the formerly incarcerated access college and graduate education programs.