If Berk's ground-breaking computer models work, it could be key for a state parole board that has come under increasing scrutiny for releasing violent criminals well before they reach their maximum sentence, only to see them go on to commit more violent crimes.[...]
Killers who kill again after they are released highlight the need for the state to find a more accurate way to predict which inmates present the highest risk when paroled.
So the parole board has given Berk a $228,000 grant to build his system, pilot it next year and have it in place by 2011.
"We're hoping this will take the board's decision-making to a higher level," parole board spokesman Leo Dunn said. "If a computer program can help prevent the death of someone like [Denise Merhi], then the board wants that information."
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