If It Doesn’t Work, Why Keep It? – Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program

If It Doesn’t Work, Why Keep It?


This article brought light to an issue I didn’t even know Detroit was having. Detroit has had a contract with DataWorks that allows law enforcement to use facial-recognition software to identify suspects in crimes, but that software has been doing more harm than good. It was supposed to reduce crime in Detroit but in the three years since its inception, there has been no truth to that. This software has disproportionately falsely identified people of color and because of it leads to false imprisonment on top of an already racially biased system that uses any excuse to criminalize Black communities. This year they are supposed to have the city council vote whether they want to renew their contract, but advocates in Detroit think it will continue to affect the community negatively. 

I personally feel like there shouldn’t even be a debate on whether or not the contract gets renewed. It’s fairly simple since it has no benefits to the community there is no reason why the city should continue spending money on it. A point that stuck with me from the article was that the money being used for this janky software could go towards other programs within the city like job training and after school activities. This makes the most sense because why would the city spend money on things that aren’t beneficial to its members. The community should have an input on the programs the city implements because the community knows what they need since they experience the problems first hand most likely. There is so much that goes on in Detroit that I’m often unaware of so I’m glad I stumbled upon this article and got to share it. 

2 thoughts on “If It Doesn’t Work, Why Keep It?”

  1. Hey Jasmine,

    I’m glad you wrote about this issue. I have briefly heard on the news about Williams’s story but haven’t read any articles on it. I also believe this is a HUGE problem that needs to be addressed but is not talked about so it’s constantly continued. Change needs to happen immediately!

    1. No seriously! The william’s story was really crazy because innocence doesn’t even count for nothing when you’re a certain skin color. People make their mind up from the moment they look at them which is a huge injustice that needs to be addressed. It’s like common sense really isn’t so common anymore.

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