Chicago Violence Plummeted after Teens Got Jobs!
By Angela L. Braden
Typically, where you can find poverty, you’re going to also find high rates of criminal behavior. Now, research shows that if teenagers, who come from financially disadvantaged households, are given a chance to make money, rates of violence will decrease.
In Chicago, where violent crimes are as common as deep dish pizzas, City officials devised a plan to try to decrease the occurrences of violent crimes in their youth population. They created a summer work force program for teenagers, who come from low income, high crime communities. The teenagers were given minimum wage jobs to work over an eight week period during the summer months.
While the city of Chicago hoped that the jobs would decrease crime in their youth population, they were ecstatic when the University of Chicago’s Crime Lab discovered through their research that the occurrence of violent crime amongst the teens, who were randomly selected for the summer work program, decrease by 43%. Furthermore, the research shows that not only did the youth that were in the program chose to not engage in violent crimes during the summer, the same group of teens continued to say no to violence after the $8.25 jobs had ended.