How Strategic is Chicago's "Strategic Subjects List"?
"For the past four years,
the Chicago Police Department has been working with researchers to
build a system for judging which city residents are most likely to be
involved in a shooting — either pulling the trigger, or getting shot.
The resulting 'heat list' — officially called the Strategic Subjects
List (SSL) — has, for the most part, been shrouded in secrecy and
speculation. What we’ve known is that everyone on the list gets a risk
score, reflecting their predicted likelihood of being involved in a
The list is, to our knowledge, the highest-profile person-based
predictive policing system in use across the United States. Perhaps
that’s why it has attracted significant press attention — often
including overstated comparisons to Minority Report — even
though little is known about how it works. Most predictive policing
systems fielded by major U.S police departments today are 'place-based,'
meaning they attempt to forecast when and where future crime may occur. Chicago’s system, by contrast, tries to forecast who will be involved."