Expert Discussed DNA Databases, Deterrence and Detection of Offenders

March 29, 2018

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

​Jen Doleac, assistant professor of public policy and economics and director of Justice Tech Lab, University of Virginia, spoke about her paper, "The Effects of DNA Databases on the Deterrence and Detection of Offenders" on Wednesday, April 4, 2018.

The paper studied how collecting offender DNA profiles affects offenders’ later recidivism and likelihood of getting caught by exploiting a large expansion of Denmark’s DNA database.

In the study, she said, they found "that DNA profiling increases detection probability and reduces recidivism within the following year by as much as 43%" and said the results imply that a 1% higher detection probability reduces crime by more than 2%. "We found that DNA profiling changes non-criminal behavior: profiled offenders are more likely to engage in a stable relationship, and live with their children," she added.

Doleac’s visit was sponsored by the Department of Economics