Using Varieties of Simulation Modeling for Criminal Justice System Analysis

Using Varieties of Simulation Modeling for Criminal Justice System Analysis

Azahed Alimadad (Simon Fraser University, Canada), Peter Borwein (Simon Fraser University, Canada), Patricia Brantingham (Simon Fraser University, Canada), Paul Brantingham (Simon Fraser University, Canada), Vahid Dabbaghian-Abdoly (Simon Fraser University, Canada), Ron Ferguson (Simon Fraser University, Canada), Ellen Fowler (Simon Fraser University, Canada), Amir H. Ghaseminejad (Simon Fraser University, Canada), Christopher Giles (Simon Fraser University, Canada), Jenny Li (Simon Fraser University, Canada), Nahanni Pollard (Simon Fraser University, Canada), Alexander Rutherford (Simon Fraser University, Canada) and Alexa van der Waall (Simon Fraser University, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-591-7.ch019
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Criminal justice systems are complex. They are composed of several major subsystems, including the police, courts, and corrections, which are in turn composed of many minor subsystems. Predicting the response of a criminal justice system to change is often difficult. Mathematical modeling and computer simulation can serve as powerful tools for understanding and anticipating the behavior of a criminal justice system when something does change. The focus of this chapter is on three different approaches to modeling and simulating criminal justice systems: process modeling, discrete event simulation, and system dynamics. Recent advances in these modeling techniques combined with recent large increases in computing power make it an ideal time to explore their application to criminal justice systems. This chapter reviews these three approaches to modeling and simulation and presents examples of their application to the British Columbia criminal justice system in order to highlight their usefulness in exploring different types of “what-if” scenarios and policy proposals.

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