Sarah A. Riley

Sarah is an IDEAL Provostial Fellow at Stanford University in the Department of Communication, where she studies municipal algorithmic systems, race/ism, and inequality. Her recent work focuses on the administration of pretrial risk assessments in Virginia. She uses a mixed-methods approach that combines ethnographic observations and causal inference techniques to understand how human discretion in the pretrial process influences risk scores, pretrial detention decisions, and life outcomes for accused people.

Her interest in municipal algorithmic systems arose while working at the New York City Department of Education to re-engage out-of-school youth and volunteering for the Dignity in Schools Campaign, a national coalition working to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline.

She has a PhD in information science from Cornell University and a master’s in public policy from the University of California, Berkeley. Her research has been supported by the Microsoft Research Ada Lovelace Fellowship, the MacArthur Foundation, UCLA’s Center for Critical Internet Inquiry, and the Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy.