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Artificial Intelligence Applications for Criminal Courts: An Overview of Artificial Intelligence Applications for Prosecutors and Associated Considerations for the Criminal Court System

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 2020
11 pages

This third in a series of four technology briefs on artificial intelligence (AI) applications in the criminal justice system presents an overview of AI applications and associated considerations for the criminal court system, with an emphasis on AI’s role in addressing prosecutorial needs.


AI can be broadly understood as a computer science domain that encompasses a wide range of technologies that mimic human intelligence. Current AI systems have made dramatic improvements in machine vision, natural language processing, robotic process automation, and predictive analytics. They have improved data-pattern recognition, including video/image data, text data, and numerical data. These abilities are used to classify objects or make predictions. Some criminal court functions that may benefit from AI technologies include the management of workforce staffing and resources, improving court operations, processing and managing digital information, improving case management and outcomes, maintaining accountability, and creating partnerships and collaboration. This brief provides a model for decision-making regarding the matching of AI technologies to improve the performance of various court tasks. The brief advises that AI systems that provide recommendations or predictions in the context of the court system should be evaluated for adverse as well as beneficial outcomes.  3 figures and 22 references

Date Published: August 1, 2020