I care about social questions of equity, fairness, and justice, and there is a history of mathematicians before me working to shed light on these situations. A common social question that mathematics can answer is the question of how to allocate some limited resource among several parties. A few examples of this type of social question are given below.
- Determining how many US Representatives each state should have based on population
- Determining how many legislators each South African political party should be awarded based on votes received in a national election
- Determining how Pennsylvania’s education money should be allocated fairly among the many school districts in the state
- Determining how congressional districts should be drawn in each state following each census in the United States
As mathematicians and lawmakers consider which and whether an algorithm is superior to a legislative or committee process, there are several pros and cons they keep in mind.
The goals of the research are, “First, to determine the best predictors across jurisdictions of new criminal activity, failure to appear, and, for the first time, new violent criminal activity. Second, to develop a risk-assessment tool based on these predictors.” 
Mathematics and statistics were used heavily. “Researchers started with 1.5 million cases drawn from more than 300 U.S. jurisdictions.” and “The study identified and tested hundreds of risk factors.” 
An algorithm does not replace human judgement. “[It] is a decision-making tool for judges. It is not intended to, nor does it functionally, replace judicial discretion. Judges continue to be the stewards of our judicial system and the ultimate arbiters of the conditions that should apply to each defendant.” 
I encourage the reader to learn more about the Arnold Foundation’s risk-assessment tool which is currently used in many jurisdictions in the United States.
 NPR's Planet Money recently covered this algorithm's implementation in the state of New Jersey.
The Arnold Foundation summarizes their development of the algorithm on their website as well as in two reports.
 Website overview
 More detailed report
 Details of the algorithm