As someone who used to work in the prison industry, I would like to reiterate that the problem of prison overcrowding never has been and never will be a technical problem or matter of simply moving people around to the right place. It's a complex social problem that intersects with a lot of other areas (government corruption, NIMBYism, cultural attitudes, legal system issues, etc.). Let me point out just ONE of the many flaws with Obama's position:
It will allow states to better divert low-level offenders with mental illness out of the criminal justice system and keep low-risk defendants out of jail while they await trial.
The problem with diverting "low-level offenders with mental illness out of the criminal justice system" isn't a matter of *identifying* the offenders. Everyone KNOWS who these people are. The problem is that there are nowhere near enough mental health facility beds and treatment options to even begin to accommodate all the people who need them. So jails and prisons become the defacto mental health treatment centers while all the mental health departments play "hot potato" with any high maintenance (aka costly) patients.
So great, your software has identified prisoner A as being mentally ill. Is your software going to force the local mental health facility, that always stays full, to give him a bed? Is it going to provide funding to build and staff more mental health treatment centers for dangerous and high-risk/high-maintenance patients? Because if your algorithm isn't going to do that, then it's worthless. Yeah, I already know Prisoner A is mentally ill, thanks. He's here because there is no other place that will take him, not because we didn't realize he was mentally ill.