Prediction Markets instead of Parole Boards
Parole boards determine whether prisoners may be released from their sentences before their sentence is complete. If my understanding is correct, the main consideration is the likelihood that the convict will commit another crime.
Parole boards do a terrible job. According to the Department of Justice, 49% of parolees abscond or are returned to prison. And of course there must be more who commit more crimes who aren't caught.
It is rumored that sex offenders, especially paedophiles, are much more likely to reoffend than non-sex offenders. The statistics support the opposite conclusion. But my understanding is that sex crimes, especially sex crimes against children, are very often not reported, and less often than that are resolved. So I guess we don't know what the true recidivism rate is.
One strategy some states have adopted to combat the threat of sex offence recidivists is to maintain a sex offenders register - a public list that sex offenders are placed on (with photo and address available online) - so that citizens can be aware of any paedophiles in their neighborhood. In some states, the sex offenders aren't allowed to live within 1000 feet of where children congregate, such as schools and day care centers.
When Wendy Whitaker was 17, she fellated a 15-year-old. 12 years later, the 29-year-old must vacate her home in case she molests the children at a nearby church daycare center.
The obvious explanation is that Whitaker is being crushed in the cogs of the gigantic machine that is government bureaucracy. But if we take this at face value - the government is genuinely unsure whether Whitaker is a threat to the children, and is willing to let her out of prison but not off the sex offender list just in case - then what we're dealing with is a question of how to predict the future. Will Wendy Whitaker fellate any more 15-year-olds?
When you have a future prediction problem, the best solution available is (in most cases, when some normal conditions like liquidity hold) prediction markets. I propose replacing parole boards with prediction markets on the likelihood of recidivism for each convict. The result should be less crime and less injustice for people like Wendy Whitaker (and Genarlow Wilson, etc.)