Operational Research and the Criminal Justice System

Speaker: Alexander Rutherford

Date: Wed, Mar 30, 2016

Location: PIMS, Simon Fraser University

Conference: Lunchbox Lecture Series

Subject: Mathematics

Class: Scientific


The Criminal Justice System is responsible for upholding public safety through the enforcement of laws, the apprehension, prosecution, and judging of suspects, and the administration of community and custodial sentences. It is highly complex, with interactions between police, prosecutors, judges, the court, and correctional services. Effective and efficient administration of justice is important for maintaining public safety.

We present an overview of operational research modelling applied to the Criminal Justice System. Two case studies are considered: a systems dynamics model of the impact of the 2010 impaired driving legislation in British Columbia and a queue network model of the impact of the Truth in Sentencing Act of Canada.