Sunday, 28 December 2014

Summer jobs may cut violent crime

Interesting research from Chicago, US, suggests that giving summer jobs to kids in high-crime, low income neighbourhoods can cut the level of violent crime they commit by around 40% over the following 16 months (although there is a significant margin of error in the results, given that the study was on a limited number of kids). Links with further comment on this here

In practical terms, the observed drop in violent crime would equates to a fall from 91 arrests per 1000 kids - to just 51 arrests per 1000 kids.

The summer jobs were only 25hrs per week at minimum wage, working as camp counselors or office assistants amongst other places.

Incidentally, half of the kids given summer jobs were also given "social-emotional learning" time, where they learned skills to manage their emotions or behavior that might get in the way of employment - but this didn't make any significant difference to the crime results.

It was, it seems, the work wot done it.

Interesting stuff.

The research was led by Sara Heller at the University of Pennsylvania. She talks about the challenges involved in this research programme here.

On reading that Dr Heller has the title of "Assistant Professor of Criminology" BFTF cannot help but see flashbacks from CSI, a tendency fuelled further by the fact that Dr Heller has a B.A in Psychology from Harvard University. Clearly someone who would the the last person standing in a game of Risk

Mentioned this research to local PCC and council in case it was of interest to them.

Oh, and thanks to @pourmecoffee and @skullsinthestars for sharing this research via the magic that is Twitter.

No comments:

Post a Comment