75 Fla. L. Rev. 167 (2023)
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Predictive policing is an innovative, evolving approach to crime prevention that law enforcement has recently embraced. These programs are designed to detect crime patterns by employing machine-learned algorithms to identify high-crime areas as well as likely offenders. In doing so, law enforcement hopes to implement a proactive approach in which officers will be able to prevent crime rather than merely respond to it. However, these programs can be plagued with inaccuracies and racial and socio-economic bias. With juveniles, in particular, the programs impress far too great of consequences while failing to accurately predict adolescents’ future criminality. The impressionable and developing nature of children causes them to be less predictable than adults and more vulnerable to outside influences. Because the identification of juveniles as future criminals drastically changes the way police interact with them, the actions of police officers toward targeted children may motivate a child’s distrust for police, disassociation from society, and inclination toward criminal behavior. This creates a self-fulfilling prophecy where labeling children as likely offenders makes them more likely to become offenders. There are several methods to move the program toward a more constitutional and effective approach; however, juvenile predictive policing, as it stands now, is not substantially related to the state’s interest in increasing public safety or helping the best interest of the child, and thus is unconstitutional.