Ever wonder if modern science is beginning to reflect those futuristic inventions discussed and displayed in the world of science fiction novels and film? Perhaps some of your childhood favorite movies are getting closer and closer to reality than you think. While DeLoreans can't actually travel back in time, one modern film's solution to crime is starting to take shape in the form of predictive behavior crime prevention.

In what seems like a new technology straight out of the film Minority Report, a university professor has developed software meant to predict criminal behavior. However, unlike the movie, this software is not to predict the likelihood that anyone might commit a crime, but those who have already committed one.

According to the developer, the software uses an algorithm based on certain behaviors of criminals to predict whether or not they are prone to commit later crimes and what types of crimes those may be. They are using the software to help assist parole officers when trying to monitor previous offenders. The software apparently also assists in being able to predict which offenders may be victims of crime themselves.

Needless to say, the implications of such software present a myriad of difficulties when dealing with unpredictable human behavior. While still in its testing phase and not implemented beyond a few police departments on the East Coast, officers and prosecutors alike should be cautious in its application. Ensuring that citizens' rights are not infringed upon based on predictive software will be essential to the programs availability and usage.

Source: The Mary Sue, "Minority Report precog-like software being tested in Baltimore and Philadelphia to predict crimes," Jill Pantozzi, Jan. 12,, 2013